STERLING, Colo. -- A new dog could change everything for a Sterling family dealing with some serious health issues.
The community is rallying together to help 6-year-old Ellie Steimer.
Ellie’s family calls her "Sunshine Girl" because of her huge smile and beautiful laugh.
Ellie was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy when she was 2 years old. The palsy impacted her walking muscles, fine motor skills and speech.
Her mom says her condition isn’t getting worse, and there’s a chance she could manage her condition.
“We just wanted to find a way to help her be independent,” said Ellie’s mom, Jill Steimer.
Jill found that opportunity through a highly-trained service dog from the nonprofit 4 Paws 4 Ability.
“The dog would help provide stability for when she walks and for when she falls down. The dog can provide stability for that,” said Steimer.
Ellie also has seizures, and a dog would alert Ellie's family before an episode.
But $15,000 stands between Ellie and her dog.
That’s where Beatrice Timmerman stepped in after seeing Ellie’s story on Facebook.
“That broke my heart. Seeing this 6-year-old girl who could not go crazy and just run how every kid does and wants to be,” said Timmerman.
So Timmerman planned “Ellie’s Night” at the Blue Collar Steakhouse, with 100 percent of Wednesday’s proceeds going toward Ellie’s dog fund.
Wednesday evening, the Blue Collar Steakhouse raised almost $3,000 toward Ellie’s $15,000 goal.