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Community Raises Money For 7-Year-Old Fighting Mystery Heart Ailment

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Suzanne Le Mignot Suzanne Le Mignot
Suzanne Le Mignot serves as CBS 2 Chicago’s general assignment...
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NEW LENOX, Ill. (CBS) – Bella Rodrigues has been at Lurie Children’s Hospital, since January 20th as the 7 year-old fights a mystery virus that’s ravaging her heart.

Hundreds of people filled a New Lenox Culver’s to raise money for her mounting medical bills.

“This is just amazing. I love the people that are here. It just shows what one town can do for one little girl. It’s awesome,” said Joe Rodrigues, Bella’s brother.

A month and a half ago, the vibrant second grader complained of having a headache, stomach ache and joint pain. Now, the New Lenox native is on a ventilator. Her heart beats, with the help of a pacemaker.

“She may not actually need a heart transplant, but she’s still on the list, just in case,” said Cara Cellini-Matokar, Bella’s aunt.

Culver’s is not only giving the family a donation, the owner of the New Lenox Culver’s is giving ten percent of all sales during the fundraising event to Bella’s family. Her medical expenses are now in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“I have two young kids and I know what type of help I would want at that time. We wanted to be involved in it,” said New Lenox Culver’s owner Baron Waller.

“She’ll pull through,” said Albert Rodrigues, Bella’s grandfather. “She’s a fighter and she’ll do it.”

For more information and to donate, visit www.youcaring.com/bellarodrigues.

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