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‘Paw’viding a hand

FPS staff report

Elliana BalderElliana Balder is only one year old, but is already quite experienced in the medical field.

Balder, the daughter of Jeremy and Christa Balder of Scio, was diagnosed with Epilepsy July 14, 2012, after she had multiple back-to-back grand mal seizures.

Family and friends of Elliana are sponsoring a Benefit Dinner and Auction March 3 from 4-7 p.m. at Western Grill on Main St., Bowerston, to raise funds to purchase a seizure alert dog.  Suggested by Akron Children’s Hospital, a seizure dog alerts the family of an upcoming seizure and allows them to be with the child and get the child to safety before the seizure occurs.

Elliana was born with a small cavernous hemangioma on her thigh.  Doctors noticed it but after a difficult pregnancy, were more than amazed at how well she was doing.  Her parents began noticing periods of excessive fussiness, long periods of staring and what appeared to be occasional shivering.  The family was told she was experiencing colic, was cold or just interested in certain objects.

Elliana experienced her first grand mal seizure July 4 and was rushed to the hospital.  The seizure stopped before they arrived and the family was referred to a neurologist.  The back-to-back seizures occurred before the scheduled appointment. 

Elliana takes medication to control her seizures but occasionally experiences breakthrough seizures despite medication, with the majority occurring at night. Research has found the body gives off a certain scent from chemical changes that occur prior to and during a seizure.  Dogs are trained to detect the scent and will alert help for the child.  Elliana has been approved through 4 Paws for Ability to receive a Seizure Alert Service Dog.  The rescue dogs are carefully selected for each family and trained over a nine-month period.  The cost of training each dog is $22,000 and each family is asked to raise $13,000.

The benefit roast beef dinner will include mashed potatoes, green beans, roll, dessert and a drink. Cost is $10 with $5 of each meal going to 4 Paws for Ability for Elliana’s dog. 

There will be a Chinese “basket” auction, baked goods sale and a luminary sale to honor those with special needs.  Tickets are available at the door or presale at Western Grill and Baker’s Foods in Scio.

Wallick Auctioneers from Strasburg will conduct a live auction in Bowerston Fire Hall beginning at 7 p.m.  Various crafters, businesses and sports teams have donated items and gift certificates for the event. 

To make a tax-deductible donation, visit www.4PawsforAbility .org or mail a check with Elliana’s name on the memo line to 4 Paws for Ability, In Honor of Elliana Balder, 253 Dayton Ave., Xenia, OH 45385.  Elliana’s story is told on the 4 Paws for Ability website by visiting the How to Help tab and clicking on Make a dream come true.

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