Helping Ellanor – Southern Minnesota Steps Up to Help

Helping Ellanor - Southern Minnesota Steps Up to Help

(Sleepy Eye, MN) – May 28, 2022 —   Multiple communities in Southern Minnesota have been united to help raise funds for the daughter of Caleb & Katie Siefkes.   10-month-old Ellanor was hospitalized in June of 2020.  After 6 months of ongoing testing and multiple infections, Children’s Hospital’s hematology department determined that she had a genetic mutation causing low neutrophil counts and diagnosed her with ELANE mutation Severe Congenital Neutropenia.

For the next year Ella was prescribed medication to help her bone marrow grow blood cells. It was determined that a Bone Marrow Transplant was the only other course of action to improve and sustain Ella’s quality of life.

Around Ellanor’s 2nd birthday, Children’s Hospital referred her to the U of MN BMT program. Testing of Ellanor’s five siblings revealed that she had a fully matched donor available in her brother, Josiah, and it was decided to move forward with BMT. Ellanor and Katie moved to a Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis in early November 2021 and began the transplant process at the Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital.

This was the beginning of a 4-5 month process where Ella needed to be in or near the hospital the entire time. The transplant went well.  Ella is recovering well, and the new blood counts that are coming in are encouraging. Recovery will take a while, but the prognosis for her is good with the new bone marrow to produce the cells she needs.

Ellanor has been able to return home and so far the bone marrow transplant is working.  She has begun adjusting to her life away from the hospital, spending time with her family and is just starting to take short trips outside her home to places with small groups of people.



Weelborg Chevrolet in New Ulm and Weelborg Ford in Redwood Falls each made a generous donation of $1,000 to the Siefkes family’s Knights of Columbus Teddy Bear Drive for Ellanor Siefkes totaling $2,000!


The Sleepy Eye Servicemen’s Club made a generous donation of $2,500 from their Charitable Gambling to the Siefkes family, the Knights of Columbus Teddy Bear Drive for Ellanor Siefkes and the purchase of 100 teddy bears! 


What you can do

The Knights of Columbus have organized a fund raiser.   You can purchase a Teddy Bear for $20 with proceeds helping Ellanor.   Or you can simply give online.   Link is here.   If you’d prefer to help in person, several businesses have agreed to help raise money for medical expenses related to Ellanor’s bone marrow transplant by selling Teddy Bears.   Stop by any of these businesses to buy your bear OR make a donation.     These local businesses include:


Comfrey Bar and Grill

Comfrey C Store

Triumph State Bank


The Crow Bar and Grill


Triumph State Bank

Darfur Lounge


Carl’s Corner


MinnStar Bank


Ridin’ High Saloon


SouthPoint Financial Credit Union

Saint Anastasia Catholic Church


MinnStar Bank

STAR Group NAPA Auto Parts Stores


SouthPoint Financial Credit Union


Alliance Bank

Bank Midwest

Chuck Spaeth Ford

Citizens Bank Minnesota

George’s Fine Steaks and Spirits

Frandsen Bank & Trust

Jensen Motors

Joe’s Camper Sales

STAR Group NAPA Auto Parts Stores

Órale Authentic Mexican Tacos & More

Weelborg Chevrolet

SouthPoint Financial Credit Union


Weelborg Ford


STAR Group NAPA Auto Parts Stores

The Collage


Ace Hardware

Americana Community Bank

Calvary Baptist Church

Chuck Spaeth Ford


First Security Bank

Miller Sellner

STAR Group NAPA Auto Parts Stores

Powerhouse Nutrition

Randy’s Family Drug

Schutz Family Foods

Serendipity Boutique

Sleepy Eye Brewing Co.

Sleepy Eye Coffee Co.

Sleepy Eye Golf Course

SouthPoint Financial Credit Union

Servicemen’s Club


Clay’s Drive-In Liquors

Farmers and Merchants Bank

Massage & Bodywork by Deb Wahl

Outlaws Bar and Grill

SouthPoint Financial Credit Union

Springfield Advance-Press


Main Street Market of BL

J&L Repair

Buffalo Lake Insurance Agency

Central Region Coop


K&S Millwrights Inc.

Zion Lutheran Church


CorTrust Bank

Cactus Jack’s II

Saint Boniface Catholic Church

More to the story

You can follow this story as it develops and meet the Siekes family as they share their journey with KEYC’s Good Morning,  Click Here.

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