TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - A little Toledo girl has battled a whole lot in her young life, everything from seizures to cerebral palsy. She's set to meet with a specialist later this week, and could be having another surgery in the coming weeks.
Three-year-old Nellianna Grace or Nelli for short was born several months early weighing less than two pounds. Despite all the things she's dealt with in her young life, her family says she's an energetic young girl who loves to smile and hang out with other kids.
Her mom says as hard as it was to do, she's had to ask for help, "She makes me strong. They say you are supposed to be your child's hero, but really she's mine."
Brittany Piddock says her only child is a happy-go-lucky girl, "If she's sees other kids playing she'll laugh right along with them even though she can't run and play or do the things they can. As long as other kids are around her she's happy!"
Nelli came into this world three months early. Rochelle Kuharcheck is her Aunt,"She was born weighing only 1 pound, two ounces. She was in the neo-natal intensive care unit for about five months and she was three-months-old before my sister could even hold her."
Brittany says Nelli has epilepsy.and cerebral palsy. She's had a bowel perforation and is on a feeding tube, "I can't tell you how many times I have stayed up at night just to make sure she is still breathing. I just thank God for every day she is here."
Nelli does several kinds of therapy on a daily basis, and she has a big support system thanks to her tight-knit family. Rochelle says they all pitch in to help, "We all stick together for her. As long as we can see her smile, that is all that matters to us."
The family says they do have insurance but it doesn't cover everything.
Out of town trips to specialists puts a strain on an already tight budget. Nellie and her mom are heading to the Cleveland area later this week. Rochelle says the hope is that she will be able to have surgery several weeks after this visit,"She's been seeing a specialist and she was getting shots, but they aren't working any more. They are talking about hooking up a pump to her spine and ligaments, so hopefully one day she'll be able to walk."
Brittany hopes to see that day soon, "She's perfect the way she is, but my hope is for her to be able to one day walk and talk and to be able to run and play with her cousins."
The family will use any donations for things like food,gas and hotel stays. They say they also would like to be able to get a larger vehicle that is better suited for Nelli's needs.
If you'd like to help out, we've posted a link to the GoFundMe page.