PIQUA, Ohio (WDTN) – The Piqua community is holding a townwide benefit to help a local woman after she was diagnosed with an extremely rare inflammatory disease to her spinal cord.
“Every weekend was packed with something,” said resident Danielle Baker.
The Baker Family loved being outdoors, camping and hunting, but now, it’s been relatively quiet since July 2021
“It’s scary because it was unknown and in unknown territory,” said Baker.
42-year-old Danielle Baker’s world flipped upside down after an MRI for a shoulder injury revealed a much more dangerous prognosis.
“Even though it was the vaccine that triggered it, it was the perfect storm for me, it was a very rare side effect,” said Baker.
She said her doctors believe a combination of chronic COVID-19 and her body’s response to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine triggered an extremely rare disease – transverse myelitis. They believe a COVID enzyme had settled in her body where the nerves communicate with her muscles. Danielle contracted the virus in December 2020, then was fully vaccinated by June 2021. She dedicated 16 years of her life to being a nurse at Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County.
Her husband Justin is an occupational therapist and helps his wife move around the house to slowly gain mobility back. Now, family and friends organized a community-wide benefit to raise funds for the Bakers so they can afford the necessary equipment to support Danielle. Many Miami Valley businesses, friends and families have filled their living room with gifts to auction off to raise money in their upcoming benefit.
“We have a village of parents and friends and family that takes care and helps us out,” said Baker.
On April 9 at Caserta Activity Center located 218 S. Downing Street from 4-7 p.m., family and friends are hosting a benefit to raise funds for the Baker family. Danielle requires special equipment to help get around her home and a new vehicle to hold the entire family, plus her scooter as well. The event is a donation-only event and no tickets will be sold. food will be provided for residents who donate items.
Danielle’s diagnosis isn’t the first trial the Baker family has faced. Around their living room, Swarovski crystal snowflakes decorate the area in memory of their daughter Sara who died on July 5, 2006. Danielle said one of her patients gave her a snowflake crystal as a gift after Sara’s death; they also had previously lost a child. Now, Danielle’s parents fill a stocking each year for Christmas with crystal snowflakes.
The Bakers have set up a GoFundMe for those who wish to donate, click here for more.