Community rallies for local mom with brain tumor; daughter with rare disease

 A mother battling a brain tumor refuses to have surgery until her 1-year-old with a rare disease gets help.

On Friday a charity bowling benefit had the community rallying for 20-month-old Zofia Balogh, a miracle baby, and her mom.

When Maria Balogh noticed she wasn't growing as she should, an MRI revealed that she had renal artery stenosis. The disease that causes blockage in the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the kidneys.

Zofia had surgery at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor and so far, so good.

"Yesterday she had her surgery - seven hours," said Cathy Gikas, a family friend. "They were able to take a vein from her leg and do a bypass on one kidney. Take a vein from her pelvic area and do the bypass on the other kidney.   

"So far she's in critical condition but she's recovering. And they are very hopeful.

"The prognosis is wonderful."

Zofia's mother Maria has multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease and a brain tumor. Maria has postponed her surgery twice because she can't leave her baby's side. 

"She was scheduled for Jan.19," Gikas said. "When all this happened she rescheduled for Feb. 23. Now it's rescheduled for April. 

"Her surgeons are telling her please, this needs to be done. It's a serious situation with her as well.

"But as a mother, she doesn't want to leave her daughter."

On Friday family, friends and others from the city came out to show emotional and financial support.

"They have got the best friends, they have a wonderful family," said Debbie Balogh, Zofia's grandmother. "Everybody has been helping out.

"It is amazing."

There is a GoFundMe account to help the family - CLICK HERE if you would like to donate.

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