If you are wondering how the Schultz family, featured in the January, 2008 issue of Columbus Parent Magazine, are doing--you are not alone. And here is your chance to find out.

If you are wondering how the Schultz family, featured in the January, 2008 issue of Columbus Parent Magazine, are doing--you are not alone. And here is your chance to find out.

The article, " Motherhood Redefined and Transformed by Treacher Collins Syndrome," introduced us to Ellia who was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS). In February, Ellia was hospitalized for nearly three weeks at Nationwide Children's Hospital for an illness unrelated to her TCS. As her mother, Alissa Schultz relates, "Ellia got very sick, very fast. Her breathing got worse and we took her to the hospital. They admitted her to the ICU and did a chest x-ray. It didn't look like a clear-cut case of pneumonia. They determined that her viral pneumonia had become bacterial pneumonia."

As Ellia's hospital stay and the pneumonia progressed, part of her lung collapsed and she was put on a ventilator. "I was hysterical and freaked out--especially because of her trach," Schultz said. "After a couple of days I thought, 'This can't be happening.' The doctor gave Ellia another day or two to see if any of her lung tissue died. Then, finally, the pneumonia had run its course and she got better as quickly as she got sick."

Despite the stress and worry during Ellia's hospitalization, Alissa and her husband, Brad, (Ellia's father) found a way to do some teaching of their own. "We had a copy of the Columbus Parent article posted to her bed and people would ask about her and TCS--it started a lot of discussions," continued Schultz. Because she wasn't in for TCS, many of the medical people hadn't see kids with [the syndrome]. We were giving demos on her hearing aids. The sounds vibrate and you can hear what she hears. We did a lot of educating about TCS."

After her discharge, Ellia recovered quickly. "Once she was home we heard her voice for the first time. Nothing slowed her down and she started crawling," Schultz related. She was off the tube feedings during the day so she was free and clear from tubes and cords. She follows me like a shadow. This little girl just keeps surprising everyone. She has personality and strength."

Ellia's determination helped her get home two days before the Powell MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) fundraiser. With the three Schultz children at home, Brad and Alissa were able to attend the fundraiser and enjoy dinner at Luce in Powell. "We were overwhelmed at the response," says Schultz. "People just kept coming in. It was overwhelming and very humbling. They raised about $11,000 that night, it exceeded everyone's expectations. This little girl is changing lives and doesn't even know it."

On March 20, Ellia had her first birthday and the Schultz family couldn't be happier. "She's so used to so many people; she goes right up to her therapists. She's going to be a people person," says Schultz. "We have a lot of things to think about and overcome, but there is always an opportunity to educate. This is my daughter. She'll take her cues from me. We're raising her to be confident in herself."

Marguerite Marsh is a freelance writer in Columbus. She writes about many topics, including families, relationships, artists and pets.