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Elli Helms

Meet Elliana Helms...

Elliana "Elli" Helms was born at 32 weeks with a condition called Hydrops, she was given a 10% chance to survive. She had her first surgery at 3 days old weighing 3.0 Ibs and proved the doctors wrong. At 6 months old she was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, which doctors believe happened during her birth. Elli was developing normally until the age of 6 when she started having seizures. The seizures became frequent, she failed 11 seizure medicines in 1 year and was in jeopardy of losing her life so she had a brain surgery at the Cleveland Clinic called a hemispherectomy.  Her last seizure was on the way to her surgery November 24, 2017!

Due to left sided weakness from her brain surgery and the effects of seizure medicines Elli has had to have surgeries on both hips (one twice), she has had 2 eye surgeries, a full spinal fusion, tendon lengthening, and gets botox injections.

Elli's family recently learned that Elli can use a speech device to communicate better and it is opening up a whole new world for her. She has a hard time getting her words out but understands everything. She loves music, jokes, playing ball, swimming, the beach and baseball!

Her family has never let Elli’s diagnosis’s stop us or her from doing everything we/she wants to do, instead we find ways and help educate to make things possible.

"Elli looks forward to playing baseball with her friends every week!  It’s a place where she belongs, where we don’t have to ask to be included, where we can take as long as we need, where no one is ignored, where there are no long stares or weird looks, where we don’t have to justify why we should get to play, where people walk towards us instead of away. The Challenger team is a blessing, its our community and where we are loved no matter what!"

-Marie Helms


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