There was a strong show of support on Wednesday night at Market Street Park in Auburn. Hundreds gathered at a prayer vigil for Easton Friedel, an infant from Weedsport born with a rare genetic skin disorder called epidermolysis bullosa.
The slightest touch causes blisters to form on his raw skin. In some areas, he has no skin at all. Those at the vigil hope prayer will help Easton heal.
"I just happen to believe in the power of prayer," said Lakes Church Campus Pastor Sean Wrench, who organized the vigil.
Many at the vigil were moved by Easton's story. "Tears, of course, immediately stream," said Rebecca Hyde of Auburn. "And it's just overwhelming. And you just wait in anticipation to see what will happen."
Since his skin is so delicate and raw, he is more susceptible to infection. On Wednesday night, family members said he was battling a blood infection. He is currently being treated in the neonatal ICU at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
Easton's great aunt said the community support has been overwhelming. "The support of this community, I am astounded," said Lauri Bodoh. "People have come together for this. They are pouring out their hearts to this family. It makes me tear up."
Bodoh also said the family has received in excess of $100,000 in donations, including some donations as small as $1 or $2 from children sending allowance money to help cover Easton's medical expenses.
With medical bills so steep, every dollar will count. Easton's bandages alone will cost thousands of dollars each month. But those in the community hope their support and prayers will help him recover.