Benefit to be held for former Steamboat family |

Benefit to be held for former Steamboat family

Event to help Kuhl family after infant’s surgery

Friends of Pete and Molly Kuhl and their newborn Jasmine are hosting a benefit for the family from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Bud Werner Memorial Library.

— Molly and Pete Kuhl will return to Steamboat Springs this weekend for a party that will benefit their first child, Jasmine Blossom Kuhl.

Just days after Jasmine was born Nov. 11, it became clear that something was wrong. She wasn’t eating. She couldn’t. When doctors tried to insert a feeding tube, “it ran into a dead end,” Molly Kuhl said.

That’s when they realized Jasmine had been born with an esophagus that did not reach her stomach.

“It was terrifying, to say the least,” Kuhl said. “I don’t think there are words to describe how we felt.”

They wanted to give Jasmine the best chance of surviving, so despite the possibility of insurance not covering it, they had her flown from Grand Junction to The Children’s Hospital in Denver. There, on Jasmine’s ninth day of life, doctors repaired her esophagus.

Today, Jasmine is smiling a lot, looks at her mom’s mouth when she talks, mimics noises and loves bath time.

“She’s growing, and she’s doing really great,” Kuhl said. “It was such a nightmare, and it couldn’t have turned out any better.”

The nightmare might be over, but now the Kuhl family faces the medical bills that health insurance will not cover.

The Kuhls moved from Steamboat to Grand Junction in August 2009 so Pete Kuhl could pursue a teaching career. They had lived in Steamboat since 1998 and still have ties to the community. Molly Kuhl probably is best known for teaching and popularizing belly dancing in Steamboat. Some of her former dancers and friends decided to organize a benefit after hearing about Jasmine’s ordeal. The benefit is from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Library Hall at Bud Werner Memorial Library and will offer a silent auction, refreshments and entertainment. There is a suggested donation of $10.

One of the event organizers, Steamboat Springs resident Katie Warchol, said they hope to raise $2,000 to $5,000.

“If we get things above and beyond that, that would be great,” Warchol said.

Molly Kuhl said they look forward to seeing old friends.

“Jasmine will be in her party dress for sure,” she said.

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