IT'S been about two years since little Eleanor Faith Holland last used her mouth to eat food.
Since her birth five years ago, Eleanor, born with spina bifida and a brain malformation, has fought battle after battle.
But she's a tough little girl, with an unrelenting fighting spirit - just ask proud parents Becky and Rodney Holland from East Lismore.
Eleanor was born with her spinal cord protruding out of her back; speech, feeding and growth issues and fluid on the brain and along her spinal cord.
"The first days were so surreal. I had my baby and she was taken away. I went back to my room without a cuddle," Ms Holland said.
Despite her difficult list of health issues, Ms Holland said Eleanor was a joy to be around.
"We saw how beautiful Eleanor was. Her smiles, her trying so hard to keep going," she said.
"She's got a wicked sense of humour."
However, Eleanor, who still struggles with health problems, including vomiting multiple times a day, has not eaten by mouth in about two years, instead receiving sustenance via a tube in her stomach.
The family hopes Eleanor's gradual progress can be boosted by attending Lively Eaters Feeding Services in Adelaide, at a cost of about $15,000.
"She's had tubes off and on throughout her life, due to being sick," Ms Holland said.
"Now Eleanor's ready to eat ... she's showing great signs.
"The ultimate goal is for her to enjoy food again, like she could two years ago - she'd get covered in it."
At time of publication, the family, which also includes 12-month-old Tobias, had raised $1625 on Pozible.
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