CLINTON — Gateway area residents are steadily coming to the aid of 9-month-old Elijah Retter, who has been diagnosed with Jeune’s Syndrome. His story was featured in the May 27 Clinton Herald.

Jeune’s Syndrome is a recessive form of dwarfism characterized by bone abnormalities, the most pronounced being a long and narrow abdomen with a reduced rib capacity, causing the lungs to not have enough room to expand and grow.

Elijah is scheduled to be evaluated on July 19 and 20 for a surgery that could save his life. The Retter family will travel to Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital in San Antonio where the infant will be evaluated for a chest expansion procedure, part of the Titanium Rib Project, in which surgeons implant a titanium prosthesis into the ribcage that gives internal organs the room and protection they need to grow.

The family has placed collection cans, donated by DairyPak, at various grocery and convenience stores throughout the Gateway area in the hope that the community will come to their aid and help fund the trip. In addition to the collection cans, a donation fund has been set up through Valley Bank for Elijah Retter. Anyone who would like to help the family can send a donation to Valley Bank, in care of Elijah Retter, at 901 S. Fourth St., Suite 100, Clinton, IA 52732-5726.

One local resident has volunteered to help the family by hosting a garage sale. Bonnie Bousman will hold a garage sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 1 and 2 and will donate the proceeds of the sale to the Retter family. Anyone who would like to donate items to the sale can place the items beside Bousman’s garage at 614 Melrose Court or contact her at home, 242-0355, or her cell phone at (319) 601-1930. Items must be received by June 30.

Marilee Hiltendorf, owner of the Renaissance, a consignment shop in the Lyons district, also has volunteered to help the family. She will donate 20 percent of the shop’s profits from Tuesday through June 24 to the family. Renaissance is located at 2319 N. Second St. and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

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