Funds to help Elena Wright afford a heart transplant, defer costs of year-long hospital stay

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Elena Rae Wright was born with a faulty heart nine weeks ago.For new parents, the expenses of having a newborn can already be substantial. For Ben and Angelina Wright of Boring, those costs have become astronomical. Their 9-week-old daughter, Elena Rae Wright, needs a heart transplant.

Ben, his father Bill Wright, his nephew and his sister Emily Julien, who works for Heaven Scent Baked Goods in Boring, all had heart problems as babies.

"They found out that she had the hypoplastic left heart syndrome in the womb," Juilen told The Post. Julien explained that prospects look good — Seattle Children's Hospital has a 95 percent success rate with transplants — but the money is going to be an issue.

In an effort to defer costs, Heaven Scent owner Kelly Shewbert is collecting donations from Monday, Feb. 5, through Saturday, Feb. 10, to give to the Wright family.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, members of the Gold Rush cast will make an appearance at the 28104 S.E. Wally Road bakery to take pictures with and sign autographs for those who donate, and Shewbert will donate 25 percent of all bakery proceeds from that day. Cash donations are preferred, but check donations should be made out to Emily Rose Julien with "for Elena" in the memo line.

Lucky for the Wrights, the Ronald McDonald house has paid for their accommodations. They have to stay in Seattle for a year after Elena's surgery, and Ben's employer has agreed to transfer him to a Seattle location.

"We just knew, especially when Emily was explaining that it was going to be a one- to two-year process, that we needed to help," Shewbert said. "We can't be there for her or doing something else for her, but we can maybe raise a little money to help her parents. We're ready for her to come home."

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