Daughter of Caleb & Katie Siefkes, 10-month-old Ellanor was hospitalized in June of 2020. After 6 months of ongoing testing and multiple infections, Children’s Hospital’s hematology department determined that she had a genetic mutation causing low neutrophil counts and diagnosed her with ELANE mutation Severe Congenital Neutropenia.

For the next year Ella was prescribed medication to help her bone marrow grow the blood cells. Bone Marrow Transplant was the only other course of action to improve and sustain Ella’s quality of life. Around Ellanor’s 2nd birthday, Children’s Hospital referred her to the U of MN BMT program. Testing of Ellanor’s five siblings revealed that she had a fully matched donor available in her brother, Josiah, and it was decided to move forward with BMT. Ellanor and Katie moved to a Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis in early November 2021 and began the transplant process at the Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital. This was the beginning of a 4-5 month process where Ella needed to be in or near the hospital the entire time. The transplant went well and was a beautiful display of science, brother’s love, and God’s mercy. Ella is recovering well, and the new blood counts that are coming in are encouraging.

Recovery will take a while, but the prognosis for her is good with the new bone marrow to produce the cells she needs. Ellanor has been able to return home and so far the
bone marrow transplant is working! She has begun adjusting to her life away from the hospital, spending time with her family and is just starting to take short trips outside her home to places with small groups of people.

Now, local businesses and the Knight of Columbus are helping to raise funds for her family through a teddy bear drive.

 

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