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Benefits aims to help toddler with treatment for rare disease

Amelia Joy Baker is one in 10 million.

At the end of July, the 2 ½-year-old woke and couldn’t walk anymore. Soon, she couldn’t even sit up without toppling over. Amelia started vomiting regular, having trouble sleeping and had a number of health-related problems.

Doctors diagnosed the toddler with opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease that affects one in 10 million. Doctors also discovered a tumor in her abdomen, prompting surgery to remove the cancerous growth likely triggered by OMS.

Now, Amelia, daughter of Lee (Superior Building Inspection Department) and Harry Baker (chief photojournalist at Fox21), has to undergo treatment that includes shots of a corticosteroid, monthly infusions of donor antibodies, and several rounds of a type of chemotherapy.

Even though Amelia is feeling much better now, there is no cure for OMS, and she’ll continue to have many medical needs down the road.

Now, friends and family are planning a fundraising effort to help offset expenses for the family. The fundraiser, which includes a spaghetti dinner, silent auction, bag raffles, children’s games and bake sale, runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Billings Park Civic Center, 3909 N. 18th St., Superior. Tickets are $10, $5 for ages 5-12 and children younger than 5 are free. Donations cal also be made to the “Amelia Joy Baker Benefit Fund at National Bank of Commerce. For information, call Jean Dotterwick at 218-340-5477 or 715-392-3500, or email