Rachel McCoige Article Part 1
Youngster's 5th birthday is cause for celebration ' Dinner at Ritz Charles seeks to raise awareness of illness affecting child, help pay medical expenses. By Holly VanSlambrook Correspondent CARMEL, Ind. When Rachel McCoige was born March 11, 1997, weighing 3 pounds and suffering serious heart and stomach problems, problems, doctors at St. Vincent's Hospital Hospital in Indianapolis told her parents parents they did not expect her to survive the week. She was diagnosed with Corne- Corne- CARMEL lia de Lange Syndrome, a rare birth defect characterized by low birth weight, delayed growth, developmental developmental delays, heart defects, orthopedic problems and digestive system difficulties. "She made lt through the first week, and then she made it the next week. It's been like that ever since," said her father, David McCoige. He and his wife, Rhonda, will celebrate Rachel's fifth birthday March 16 with a dinner at the Ritz Charles in Carmel to raise awareness awareness of the illness. Proceeds from the $75-a-plate $75-a-plate $75-a-plate $75-a-plate $75-a-plate event will help pay the staggering $130,000 they owe for Rachel's periodic periodic hospital care, including her latest emergency admission to Riley Riley Hospital for Children, where she has been for three weeks. Rachel underwent surgery Monday Monday in Indianapolis to replace a port used for intravenous feedings. She will have a further examina- examina- - ...... I L .. It's for food: Rachel McCoige is steadied by her parents as she investigates investigates her intravenous feeding tube. She got a new feeding port Monday and faces further tests at Riley Hospital to try to find the cause of lingering pain, possibly the result of migraine headaches. tion to try to find the cause of lingering lingering pain. "We know she's still in pain because because she's been scratching her face. We think she may be having migraine headaches," said Rhonda McCoige. Dr. Joseph Fitzgerald, Riley's head of pediatric gastroenterology, has treated Rachel since she was 3 months old. "I walked into the room and saw her In that infant seat. With one look I knew she was a CdLS baby," he said. A feeding tube had been placed In Rachel's stomach, but she still wasn't tolerating the formula. Fitzgerald eventually placed a tube into Rachel's small intestine that bypasses her stomach en-See en-See en-See Illness, Page N2 If you go. WHAT: Rainbows for Rachel, Rachel, a benefit dinner for the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation and CdLS patient Rachel McCoige WHEN: March 16; 7 p.m. cocktails and silent auction, 7:45 p.m. dinner followed by live band and dancing WHERE: Ritz Charles, 12156 N. Meridian St., Carmel RESERVATIONS: $75 per person, $600 per corporate table; table; 1-317-706-0807 1-317-706-0807 1-317-706-0807 1-317-706-0807 1-317-706-0807 1-317-706-0807 1-317-706-0807 For more information about Cornelia de Lange syndrome, contact the foundation at 1-800-753-2357 1-800-753-2357 1-800-753-2357 1-800-753-2357 1-800-753-2357 1-800-753-2357 1-800-753-2357 or at www.cdlsusa.org.