Oak Harbor toddler celebrates first Christmas at home - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Oak Harbor toddler celebrates first Christmas at home

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A two-year-old girl from Oak Harbor has spent most of her life in the hospital.

Emalin Harader has never been home for a birthday or holiday.

But this year for the first time she's home for Christmas.

This is a reason to celebrate, but her family says Emalin is in pain and fighting for her young life.

Mom says her little girl has not one, but three serious conditions and time is running out.

From the shoulders up, Emalin Harader is like any normal toddler who loves Elmo and music.

"She's a very, very, very good girl, but from the neck down she is failing immensely," says Taunya Harader, Emalin's mother.

Taunya and Scott Harader of Oak Harbor say their daughter is one in 1.4 million children.     

"She has a rare genetic disorder called Beckwith-Weidemann syndrome that causes one side of her body to grow larger than the other side of her body," says Taunya.

Emalin also had 98 percent of her pancreas removed because it produces too much insulin.

"She just doesn't know what life is without pain," says Scott.

On top of all that, Emalin is always hooked up to tubes.  Her source of nutrition and hydration is through a central line.

"She hasn't eaten since she was two months old," says Taunya.  "She's spent approximately 77 weeks in the hospital since she's been born."

Her only chance is a multi-organ transplant: a small intestine, pancreas, stomach, and possibly a liver.

"If we do nothing, at this point Emalin has a 25 to 30 percent chance of living to her fifth birthday," says Taunya. "With the surgery, she has 57 to 70 percent chance of making it to her 13th birthday."

"When I met the family back in November I just realized how much they needed help," says Roseann Hickman, the owner of Perfect Color Hair and Tan in Port Clinton.

Hickman is collecting gift cards from the Ottawa County community.

"Just their trips back and forth to the hospital alone are a huge expense," says Hickman.

"They have nothing but opened their arms, their hearts to my family," says Scott. "Thank you can't say enough."

Meanwhile, Emalin is resilient.  She expertly plays doctor in her bedroom as her baby doll has the same tubes she has.

"There's a little heart beating outside of our body and we don't have the power as parents to fix that," says Taunya.

But right now they're going to cherish this family Christmas finally at home.

If you'd like to drop off or send in the mail a gift card for the Harader family to the hair salon, here is the address: 90 N. Madison St., Port Clinton, OH.

Also, at Fifth Third Bank an account has been set up in her father Scott Harader's name to benefit Emalin. 

Her mom says if you're interested in following Emalin's progress, "like" the Facebook page called "Empowering Emalin."  https://www.facebook.com/empowering.emalin

 

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