CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Joni has had a rough start in life so far. Born without functioning kidneys, the infant struggled to thrive and was quickly put on dialysis.For the past three years, Joni and her mother, Shirley, have been traveling back and forth to Cincinnati for medical testing and to undergo several surgeries.Despite the struggle, Joni and her mother have remained positive. Earlier this year, the cheerful little girl was placed on the kidney-transplant list, and Joni's family hopes she won't have to wait long until a donor match is found.The costs of the medical bills, medication and travel, though, have been staggering. Each month brings a new procedure or test and another bill.
Not long after Joni was born, Shirley went to Mountain Mission for help.Through Mountain Mission, the family has been able to stay with Joni as she undergoes treatment. Mountain Mission has helped with meal cards, hotel stays and fuel for their vehicle to take them back and forth.Over the years, Mountain Mission has helped thousands of families. To assist in furthering that help, please consider a donation to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund. When you make a donation to Gazette Charities, every penny goes to the agencies and people who need help. The Gazette covers the administrative costs of the fund. All donations to Gazette Charities are tax-deductible.To give, look for the donation coupon in today's paper. To give online, click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo on this website.