MILWAUKIE, Ore -- Ten fingers, ten toes. Just about every parent counts the digits as a sign their newborn is healthy. Noelle Myers didn’t have that luxury when she gave birth nine months ago.
“People are always curious about her hands,” Myers told us as she showed us evidence of her daughter Poppy’s genetic condition. Poppy’s fingers are fused, just one consequence of Apert Syndrome.
The rare disorder affects skeletal structure. Poppy has already had major surgery to her skull and will likely need more. But it’s her fingers that are her mother’s most pressing medical concern now.
“I don’t want her to come home from kindergarten in tears because her hands are different. If I can help get her five fingers, what’s a mother to do? That’s my job.”
The problem is, Noelle doesn’t have a job. She was laid off prior to her daughter’s birth and says she hasn’t been able to work since because of her daughter’s needs. While she does have insurance for her baby, she says it won’t cover an out-of-state surgery to fix all of Poppy’s fingers.
That's what led to the trees. Noelle’s family came up with an idea to sell Christmas trees to raise money for Poppy’s surgery.
“I put up a Facebook site and people have been coming out of the woodwork to help,” Noelle said. The goal is to raise $60,000, the cost of taking Poppy to a Texas specialist for the surgery.
The family is hoping the community will generously give Poppy what she was not given naturally. On Saturday, December 8th, a special Christmas celebration will happen where the trees are on sale. 3122 Se Walta Vista CT in Milwaukie from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.