New parents always have a learning curve when their baby arrives in the world, but it’s steeper than most for Portage la Prairie's Melanie Finnimore.

Her baby, Joy, was born with a rare birth defect called cystic hygroma.

The condition is a malformation of the lymphatic system where fluid builds up within cysts in her neck.

It's made eating and even breathing difficult.

This summer, Joy underwent an experimental procedure pioneered in japan; it failed.

Now the baby faces more conventional treatments over the next five months.

"Probably about 20 plus surgeries," said Finnimore. "Hopefully this can be more managed."

While Joy receive treatment at the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg, Finnimore is able to stay close by at Ronald McDonald House.

"Melanie has been with us for seven months,” said Allison Kelser, Ronald McDonald House CEO."That just gives you a good idea of how much money we've saved Melanie."

Despite help from Ronald McDonald House, Finnimore continues to incur more costs associated with Joy’s medical treatment.

To help, a Go Fund Me page has been set up for Finnimore and baby Joy.