LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. – Rosalei Rayne has been through more adversity in her first year than most adults will know in a lifetime.
Born prematurely, she has spent weeks in the hospital and seen multiple specialists.
Her mother, Destiny Cook, says her diagnoses include a gene mutation and Syndromic Craniosynostosis, a premature fusion of the skull bones.
As Rosalei grows, time is working against the family.
Her brain needs more room to grow and Cook says her best chance is a skull surgery called Calvarial Vault Reconstruction.
After months of fighting for answers and searching for solutions to her daughter’s condition, Cook found a doctor at the Craniofacial Center in Dallas, Texas who offered real hope.
She says the delicate surgery requires making an incision across the top of the head, reconstructing the skull bones by removing and cutting/shaping them, and then replacing them.
Based on Rosalei’s growth rate, there is a limited window for the surgery. Cook says the family was told it needed to be done by this fall. After that, it will be too late.
While the operation is Rosalei’s best chance to thrive, it is expensive. Cook says the cost to the family will be $45,000. As a mom with three other children, that’s money they don’t have.
Destiny Cook has done what she can on her own, working from home to care for Rosalei and her children, saving as much as can and making tie-dye t-shirts to sell on the side.
Now, she’s asking for the community’s support. She’s set up a GoFundMe to raise money for Rosalei’s surgery.
You can learn more about Rosalei and all the family’s fundraising efforts here.
In addition, there’s a fundraiser for Rosalei in Russellville on Saturday, March 27. It’s a wrestling event called “Slamboree for Rosalei.” It will take place at the Chucky Mullins Center, located at 814 Hamilton Street.
Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-10. Children 5 and under are free. Organizers say all proceeds will go to Rosalei’s surgery.