Mary E. Helbling Dies At Age 10

     Mary Ellen Helbling, 10-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Helbling of Moscow, died Wednesday night at St. Joseph's Hospital, Lewiston, where she had been a patient for five hours.
     Funeral services will be Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church with the Rev. Kenneth Arnzen officiating. Burial will be in the Moscow Catholic Cemetery.
     Mary Ellen had suffered from cystinosis, an hereditary kidney disease. She had been hospitalized a number of times in Seattle and underwent one unsuccessful kidney transplant when quite small. She had been treated at home with a kidney machine in her room. Her parents were trained to operate the complicated equipment needed to substitute for her own kidneys.
     In spite of her illness, Mary Ellen attended St. Mary's School, where she was in the fourth grade.
     "She was a wonderful little girl and an inspiration to her classmates," said Principal Sister Margaret. "She never complained in spite of being in pain and took part in all the activities that her physical condition allowed." She was a first-prize winner in the Faculty Women's Art Contest recently.
     Although five of their children have died from the disease, cystinosis is a a [sic] comparatively rare ailment, according to Mary Ellen's parents, Many medical people are not aware of the symptoms of the disease, they said.
     Mary Ellen was born Sept. 24, 1965, in Moscow and spent her entire life here.
     Survivors, in addition to her parents, are three brothers, Mike, Jeff and Bill, and two sisters, Barbara and Karen, all of Moscow, and her grandmother, Mrs. A.S. Helbling of Moscow.
     Short's Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Unknown newspaper, Friday, March 19, 1976, p. 12
Transcribed by Jill Leonard Nock


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