BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — A local family is raising awareness of Lupus to our community after their little girl was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease last year.
“Don't lose hope, keep fighting for your child,” said Anthony Baltierra, father of Analise Baltierra.
Analise's family calls her Annie and tey told 23ABC that she loves unicorns, dancing, painting and hopes to do all that with Ellen DeGeneres one day.
“I would just like to talk and laugh with [Ellen] and tell her all about what I have,” said Annie.
The 11-year-old's childhood and her families' lives changed forever last year when she was diagnosed with Lupus.
The disease then caused her kidneys to fail and she now needs a kidney transplant. Her parents Anthony and Kristina Baltierra says Annie at times becomes down and misses her friends.
“She's very strong and it's been hard, and she isn't as social as she used to be,” said Kristian Baltierra. “She's out of school and missed her fifth-grade year.”
The family says the did receive some hope, once her dad Anthony was a match to become her kidney donor.
“It is one of those moments where it's like, you will do anything for your kid and I came to that path and I will do anything for my daughter,” said Anthony Baltierra.
The Baltierra family says to further bring awareness to Lupus they will be putting on a fundraiser banquet benefit against Lupus in Annie’s honor. The event is called Dinner and Dance Benefit against Lupus.
The banquet starts tomorrow at the Elements venue at 6 p.m. and the funds will go to help further care for her.
“Hopefully a lot of people show up and speak up about their situations,” said Anthony Baltierra. “I didn’t know anything about it until my daughter got it.”
Annie’s family says they are hoping to start a non-profit once she completes her kidney transplant to further educate the community on Lupus.
Kristina Baltierra says that when Annie becomes healthy enough, she will become active on the transplant list.
Also, there is a chance she could get a donated kidney before her dad is clear to be her organ donor.
“I love him, and I thank him for making me feel better,” said Annie.
For more information on how to purchase tickets for Annie’s benefit against Lupus Dinner head to this link.