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Erie family says Toybox helped after child had surgeries - KOAM TV 7

Erie family says Toybox helped after child had surgeries

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Families have all kinds of challenges during the holidays and some need help.  The Rinehart's in Erie, Kansas are one such family that turned to the KOAM Toybox as they missed work to get their little girl surgeries she needs. 

Two year old Elyana loves music, and this year she can play the drums after she had surgery to separate her fingers and toes in October.  That followed an earlier surgery in May on her skull.

Elyana has Apert's Syndrome, which means lots of trips to hospitals out of town.

Her mom, Cathy Rinehart, says "Any time we go to Dallas or Children's Mercy (Kansas City) he has to take off and doesn't get paid for it until after January."

Dad, Jason Rinehart, says "The shortest stay we've had is a week.  Most of them are a week or two weeks away from everybody.  A week to two weeks at a time is hard on the other kids because I do stuff with them when I get home from work."

Emotionally and financially taxing, the Rinehart's turned to a participating Toybox charity for help.

"We've always given to people - it's hard to ask for something," Jason says.

"It helps make us feel better as parents to know our children are going to be taken care of in some way,"Cathy says.

This year will be a special Christmas.  Elyana shouldn't need another surgery for three or four years.

"It's nice, we have everybody healthy and we can travel and see family," Jason says.  "A lot of times when she is sick we try to stay in our own house, not travel around and get her sick, if she has another surgery coming up."

"We'd like to say thank you to everyone who's helped us," says Cathy.

You can drop of new unwrapped toys at our studios or at Dentures and Dental in Joplin and Grove, Atlas safe rooms at Northpark Mall or any Community National Bank and Trust.  To see a complete list of where to drop off toys visit KOAMTV.com/Toybox.

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