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Benefit planned for 5-month-old

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By The Staff

A benefit fundraiser is being planned for 5-month-old Kinly Walker, who is awaiting a liver transplant at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis.
Kinley is the daughter of Troy and Hannah (Schroeder) Walker of St. Elmo. Troy graduated from St. Elmo High School and Hannah graduated from Altamont High School. Troy is involved in farming and sells Beck’s Seed, and Hannah works at the Wellness Complex of Fayette County Hospital in Vandalia.
Kinley has two sisters, Morgan, age 13 and Reagan, age 10, who both attend school in St. Elmo.
Maternal grandparents are Wayne and Vera Schroeder of Altamont. Paternal grandparents are Pat Coughlin of St. Elmo and the late Larry Coughlin.
Kinley was born on April 24 of this year and was diagnosed with a rare liver disease called biliary atresia at age 2 months. This disease begins very soon after birth and affects 1 in approximately 15,000 infants.
Although the cause of biliary atresia is unknown, the disease is not hereditary and is not contagious. It affects only newborns and limits the bile flow from the liver.
There is no cure at the present time, but a liver transplant can give the child a relatively normal life. Kinley’s third cousin, Jax Guffey, age 3, also has biliary atresia and has had a successful liver transplant.
At age 2 months, Kinley underwent a major surgery known as the Kasai. This procedure is to promote the bile flow and prolong the life of her liver.
She has been hospitalized once for cholangitis and was recently told her Kasai is a failure. She is now scheduled for tests in order to be placed on the transplant list at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Those wishing to follow Kinley’s journey or sign her guest book may log onto the following website: www.caringbridge.org/visit/kinleywalker.
A fundraiser to assist with the many costs incurred not covered by insurance is planned for Saturday, Nov. 10, at Luke’s Bar & Grill Texas Room.
Travis Voelker has offered his business location and grill services in hosting the event along with family and friends.
A pork barbecue supper will be served from 5-7 p.m. Other festivities for the night will include a silent auction and other fun activities.
Prizes available will include a 47-inch LG LED TV, two quarters of beef (including processing and packaging), a year tuition to Frog Pond Nursery School and Cardinals baseball tickets. Thrivent Financial will provide supplemental funds.
A cash bar will be available.
For more information about biliary atresia and how to become an organ donor, visit the website http://baaware.org/.
For those unable to attend but who wish to send a donation, checks may be mailed to: Kinley Walker Benefit, c/o Peoples Bank & Trust, 511 S. Main, Altamont, Ill. 62411.
Individuals and businesses wishing to donate items for the benefit may contact, Jerri Zacha at 483-6430 or Diana Robbins at 322-6437 or email Debbie Guffey at  ddguffey@frontiernet.net or Vera Schroeder at wschroeder62411@yahoo.com.
A Jeepers Creepers Jeep Run this Saturday will also benefit Kinley. They will leave from The Office Pub in Effingham, with sign up from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Individuals do not need to have a Jeep to participate; all types of vehicles are welcome.