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Community rallies around family of boy with life-changing diagnosis

Feel Good

REXBURG — A fundraiser for a 12-year-old Rexburg boy that went from being active and happy to suddenly paralyzed and unable to speak was a huge success.

Milo Baker was airlifted to Primary Children’s Hospital in May after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Click here to read a previous story about Milo’s condition.

He remains in the hospital and has been making some progress, according to his parents, Brennon and Hillaree Baker. Milo is wheelchair-bound and is able to speak words slowly and ride a three-wheel bike.

On Wednesday, friends of the Baker’s held a fundraiser for Milo and his family to help them financially and give them a boost of encouragement. “Miles for Milo,” was a 5k run and walk at the Bobcat Stadium in Rexburg. There were bouncy houses for kids, food, and games. The event had a great turnout with about 160 racers and 40 cornhole teams.

There were last-minute sign-ups after people had heard about the event.

“Around 85 or 90 (people) had pre-registered (for the 5k) but by the time they started the race, there was 160. There was a lot that came and signed up when they got to the event,” said Jessica Rydalch, who is neighbors with the Baker family and helped with the fundraiser.

Rydalch said a lot of money was raised from the event, but the number is being kept private for the Baker family.

The Baker Family1
The Baker family: Milo (left), Brennon holding daughter Willow, Hillaree and Addi. In the front row, Rudy (left) and Nelle. | Courtesy Brennon Baker

“We live in a really awesome community that shows a lot of kindness and support and genuinely cares about people when they are going through challenging times,” said Rydalch.

There were a lot of people that Rydalch recognized but also people she didn’t. She was happy to see so many come and support the Baker family.

People who couldn’t attend, donated money through Venmo.

“The Venmo just went crazy. People were just so kind and generous. There were a lot that didn’t necessarily want to run or come, but they just donated,” said Rydalch.

Brennon and Hillaree were in attendance too and were overwhelmed by the support.

“We were so touched. We just couldn’t believe it. We are just super grateful. It was such a cool experience. It’s something we never expected or thought that would happen,” said Brennon.

Brennon brought back a T-shirt and a medal for Milo that says, “Miles for Milo.” Milo has been wearing them around the hospital and was excited to hear about the event.

“We are just so grateful for these people in our community that kicked this (fundraiser) off and all the people that came,” said Brennon.

Milo with his medal
Milo Baker with his medal and t-shirt from the fundraiser. | Courtesy Brennon Baker
more food
Miles for Milo event. | Courtesy Jessica Rydalch
the 5k
The 5k run and walk. | Courtesy Jessica Rydalch
from the 5k
The 5k run and walk finish line. | Courtesy Jessica Rydalch
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