AFTER appearances on national television, including Sunrise and Today Tonight, crowdfunding to help East Lismore's Eleanor Faith Holland eat her first meal in two years has passed the halfway mark.
But there's still a long way to go, and with roughly $9000 raised at time of writing, Pozible pledges will be invalid if another $6000 is not raised before November 19 - two weeks away.
The five-year-old girl, who was born with spina bifida and Arnold Chiari ii (brain) Malformation, needs to be weaned off tube-feeding through Lively Eaters Feeding Services in Adelaide and her family are fundraising for the costs.
Currently Eleanor vomits multiple times a day, but she has a chance to improve her lot in life, boosting her growth and development, by taking to solid food, as doctors have recommended.
Eleanor's mother, Becky Holland, said despite constant challenges, her daughter was a determined, happy little girl.
"Eleanor is doing really, really well. She has been on Weekend Sunrise, Today Tonight. We've been busy," she said.
"It was a different experience. Eleanor made friends with the whole crew who came up to interview us.
"And now she's actually been trying a couple of small sips of milk. She hadn't drunk that sort of fluid for a long time. It was massive in our house, lots of cheering and hurrays."
Mrs Holland said: "It's about small steps with Eleanor - we've still got a way to go but we're seeing improvement and the team in Adelaide are confident she can be tube-weaned".
"It's nice to know by this time next year she could eat cake at Christmas," she said.
Mrs Holland said the family was blown away by, and deeply appreciative of, the support of the local community and from across Australia.
"It's been so encouraging and uplifting to see people want to help us strangers," she said.
Since Eleanor's TV appearance, several families have approached the Hollands with positive stories about their children being successfully weaned from tube-feeding.
Put simply, spina bifida is a hole in the spine and it meant Eleanor was born with her spinal cord protruding out of her back, which required surgery.
Arnold Chiari is a brain malformation that causes speech, feeding and growth issues. Eleanor also battles hydrocephalus, fluid in her brain, and syringomyelia, a cyst along her spinal cord.
How You Can Help:
- Head to pozible.com/project/ 200432 to pledge a donation online.
- Email: beckyjoyholland@ gmail.com.
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