COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – A Columbiana teen battling PANDAS disorder is getting help from friends and the community to cover treatment costs.
Ella Golden, 14, was diagnosed with PANDAS in January of 2018. It’s an autoimmune disorder that causes physical and behavioral symptoms different for every child.
For Ella, she now faces severe anxiety, OCD and agoraphobia, which is the fear of leaving the house. She has not left home for five months.
“I don’t see that face anymore. I don’t see her smiling anymore,” said Anne Golden, Ella’s mother.
There is a treatment that doctors say could help Ella, called IVIG. Each treatment uses blood from over 1,000 people to help reset the immune system.
The problem, however, is that each treatment costs nearly $15,000. Ella might need several treatments, but her insurance denied it.
“It’s hard to accept help but this is my Ella and she needs help,” her mother said.
A GoFundMe was created and within three days, they had enough for one treatment.
“It’s been overwhelming,” Anne said.
Madie Cope, Ella’s best friend, was not stopping there. She donated the sale of her 4H hog to Ella at this year’s Columbiana County Fair.
“It’s my Ella. She was always the one who everybody liked and she was always the funny one,” Cope said.
Her 233-pound hog sold for $45 a pound, bringing in over $10,000. That, plus another donation from Ella’s friend Brooke Brubaker, raised enough to cover almost an entire treatment.
“The place went crazy. The place went nuts. Everybody. We had people tell us they’ve never seen anything like that ever,” Anne said.
The love doesn’t stop there. Now, Ella’s brother Drake is selling T-shirts that say “Team Ella” to continue the fight to get his sister’s treatments.
If you are interested in buying these shirts or donating, contact 27 First News reporter Keely Lovern at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will reach out to the family.