By Marianne Mueller


 ROSCOE – After hearing 11-year-old Alexis (Ali) Kline’s story, her teacher Mrs. Bould and the community bounced into action. Mrs. Bould, classmates and the entire school went to work. Together they brought in 476 items.

One hundred-fifty pieces were picked up from Talcott Library. The Dept. of Defense, where Ali’s Dad Rob works also took up a collection including pull-tabs. A total of over 700 pieces were ready to be donated.

Ali Kline is a fifth grader at Kinnikinnick School. In the past two years Ali has opted to give back to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, near Lurie’s Children’s Hospital in lieu of birthday presents. Lurie Hospital is where Ali has regular infusions of immunoglobulin at The Ronald McDonald House due to Hypogammaglobulinemia, a disorder in which the body’s immune system does not make antibodies, or makes a reduced amount.

At first when she had infusions given they were done every four weeks until last July when doctors noticed she was not maintaining enough of the IVIG.

Due to no rising of her IgG levels, she now receives an infusion every three weeks at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. The infusions effects last between two weeks and three months.

Her journey began at birth. Ali Alexis Kline was born on Feb.17. Her due date was April 7. She arrived just shy of 34 weeks at 33 weeks; four days. Over the course of the last 11 years she has been hospitalized approximately nine times for pneumonia, and unexplained rashes.

In the summer of 2012, after almost a two-week stay at a local hospital for her fifth bout of pneumonia, her pediatrician recommended that the Kline’s see an immunologist through Lurie Children’s Hospital.

“We met with Dr. Melanie Makijah who spent around three hours with us on the first visit, doing skin tests, x-rays and labs. We found out at that time that Ali’s immune system did not work properly and would need further testing,” said Ali’s mom Heather.

“Tests concluded that continued abnormalities showed up in her blood work as well as in her body scans. Ali had built up scar tissue in her lungs from years of pneumonia detected.

“She was 110% up to date plus some on vaccines including yearly flu shots as preventions done by the entire family.

During the six-month waiting period, Ali had two more hospital stays due to complications of asthma as well as pneumonia during this time, but was usually discharged within 24 to 72 hours later with steroids. In June of 2013 the Kline family made appointments from Rockford to Chicago for different blood tests and scans. Today Ali’s family travels to Lurie Children’s Hospital on a regular basis. Knowing what other families experience prompted the unselfish act of collecting to help families like Ali’s.

“When I visit the Ronald McDonald House they give me toys. Every three weeks I get to choose a toy from a toy closet. This is one of the reasons I decided to give back to the Ronald McDonald House, both this year and last,” said Ali.

Ali’s action’s created a true snowball effect! Ali donated more than 700 items to the very grateful Ronald McDonald House on Feb. 20 including paper products, toiletries, shopping gift cards, and office supplies.

Thanks to the generosity of people all over the Stateline area Ali Kline’s birthday wish came true and other families like Ali’s now can live better while away from their homes!

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