The McDermott Family's Christmas Wish

Dear Dave, Falen and Steve-O,

We are writing to nominate Laura and Lem McDermott for this year’s KDWB Christmas Wish. Laura was the outpatient supervisor at our community mental health center for the last four years. During the time getting to know Laura, we all formed a close friendship with her. In the early spring of 2015, Laura learned that she was pregnant, but soon after learning this, she and Lem lost the baby. A few months later, Laura learned that she was pregnant again. They were excited for their growing family. Soon after learning that she was pregnant, Laura learned that her father in Missouri was ill, and she began traveling back and forth to be with him. He passed away in the spring of 2015. During one of Laura’s routine ultrasounds, the doctors noticed some abnormalities with their daughter’s development. It was discovered that their growing baby’s brain had some abnormal developments. Unsure what this meant for them, they continued with the pregnancy and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Etana, in December of 2015. They quickly learned that Etana’s development would be much different than they had planned. Etana’s struggles resulted in numerous hospital trips, week long stays in the hospital, and several surgeries. They attend weekly physical therapy with Etana, and recently started therapy to help Etana learn to eat. She currently has feeding tubes due to Dysphagia, as she struggles to swallow while drinking her bottles and eating her pureed foods. Etana has also been hospitalized for pneumonia because of her weakened immune system. She has regular appointments with neurology to manage her symptoms. Her neurologist found that Etana is continuously experiencing seizures, which they hope to treat in order to further her development.

 As if this wasn’t enough for the family to bare, Laura and Lem are also connected with a young boy who they provide weekly foster respite care for. He has been a part of their lives for several years, and Laura and Lem have discussed the possibility of adopting him one day. They work with him almost every weekend, and he stays at their house. They also take him on family vacations, provide fun activities to him, and love him as if he were their own son. Throughout all of the needs Etana has had, they continue to help and support this young boy and his grandmother.                 Etana has been ill for the last few weeks, and Laura and Lem have had to take time off from work to care for her.  Laura’s mother, who is usually home to help during the week, is back in Missouri for a few weeks for the holidays, and the day care Etana attends when Laura’s mother is out of town cannot allow Etana there due to her illness. Etana is scheduled to have surgery on her feeding tubes this afternoon (Tuesday) as long as she is healthy enough to undergo the surgery. Laura and Lem would give the shirt off their backs to help anyone else in need. That is why we would like to nominate them for Christmas Wish this year. Please help this family have a wonderful Christmas.


Debbie, Noureen, Nikki, Ann, and Diana

We jumped at the chance to help Laura and Lem and her entire family.

For the family we gave a $500 Coborns Delivers Gift Card, $101 SuperAmerica Gift Card, plus gift cards for a night out. Games, movies, Greentom reversible stroller + Greentom shopping bag! Etana got clothes, music, books and toys. Laura and Lem received clothing and accessories. Manuel also received clothing and toys.

We couldn't do KDWB's Christmas Wish without your donations. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation. Special thanks to Venture Bank. Plus, part of the donations will automatically go to YouthLink to help homeless youth in the Twin Cities. 

LISTEN: Dave Ryan calls to surprise the McDermott Family with a KDWB Christmas Wish

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