An East County family of six is facing financial ruin as they struggle to care for their critically sick child.
To see Kourtney Najjar with her service dog Mikey - you'd never know the 7-year old is living in constant pain but the little girl has been since she’s been born.
Diagnosed with a rare disease soon after birth - Kourtney suffers from intestinal failure, her large intestine has been removed. Now, the El Cajon girl needs an expensive multi-organ transplant to survive.
Her mother, Laura Najjar, cares for her daughter and three other children. Kourtney has had dozens of surgeries, takes a list of medications and gets all of her fluids and nutrition through intravenous tubes.
"I'm okay with it. I don't really mind it," said Kourtney.
Every day the family waits anxiously for the call from UCLA medical center for a transplant. Kourtney is waiting for the donation of large and small intestines and a pancreas she needs to survive.
"I've become a nurse. I've become a doctor. I've become her advocate," said Laura who has written a book about the family's battle against this rare disease.
"Her illness is hard no matter what but to see your 7-year old in pain,” said Laura. “I mean she's been in pain since she was born."
"You never know how strong you have to be until you have to do it," she said.
Laura turned her daily journals of this battle into a book called "Diagnosing Kourtney" -- all the money raised goes to support her daughter. The financial expense is overwhelming.
Laura said their bank has begun the process of foreclosing on the family's home. Laura was forced to quit her job to care for her daughter. Her husband's small business is struggling and he's now looking for a second job.
"We cope with losing our house, losing our daughter, losing everything," she said.
Even with years of planning and investments, funds are running out and the situation is more serious than ever.
"Our whole family's been so strong for so long and I just don't know how much longer we can keep going," she said.
Without an organ donation and successful transplant soon - the prognosis is uncertain. But he Najjar family is focused on Kourtney's dreams - dreams they hope will one day be possible.
Click here to make a donation in Kourtney's name. On Saturday, June 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be a fundraising car wash for Kourtney at Grossmont Center in the parking lot of Lava Fitness.