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Help Pours In For Displaced Family Whose 8-Year-Old Battles Rare Disorder

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Elizabeth Gardner
Jessica Kartalija 3 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A family that has already overcome multiple challenges is faced with another when they lose their home. Thanks to friends at the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics, help is pouring in.

Jessica Kartalija has the story.

We first introduced you to 8-year-old Elizabeth Gardner when she led a mini-walk at her school, raising awareness for the Save-A-Limb Fund at RIAO, the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics at Sinai Hospital.

“She was born with something called thrombocytopenia absent radia. Basically, it’s a blood disorder, compounded with that, she doesn’t have any radius bones in her arms,” said Chris Gardner, Elizabeth’s father.

After undergoing 26 surgeries, Elizabeth’s family faces a new challenge.

“As the children were coming out of the house, I went around the side and saw flames shooting out of the basement window,” said Lisa Gardner, Elizabeth’s mother.

On Feb. 5, fire ripped through the Gardner family’s Reisterstown home.

“The living room is completely destroyed, our master bedroom is completely destroyed,” Lisa Gardner said. “The whole house has smoke damage.”

To help the Gardners replace what was lost, Batman, who regularly visits RIAO patients, joined the staff, bringing toys and clothes for the family.

“Some of it is just support, being there for them to talk to or give them a hug. We are collecting various things they need,” said Marilyn Richardson, RIAO pediatric liaison. “We are trying to help them any way we can.”

The Gardners say they’re humbled.

“We’ve been surrounded by so much love and so much support. It’s been completely overwhelming. The generosity and moral support and financial support. And hugs and love, it’s been crazy,” Lisa Gardner said.

Elizabeth’s power chair was damaged in the fire. She has pain in her knee and will likely require another surgery.

If you’d like to help the Gardner family, click here.

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