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Tanners move west as Erin awaits transplant

The Tanner family outside their rural Morris home earlier this spring. In front are Erin and Ethan, and in back are Robert, Amber and Emma.The Tanners had to move to California in an effort to get Erin closer to medical care and a possible liver transplant.

Erin Tanner and her family are now in California in the hopes of soon receiving a liver transplant.

The 9-year-old Morris girl and her family -- parents Amber and Robert and siblings Ethan and Emma -- moved to Orange County to be near medical centers at the University of California-Los Angeles and the University of California-Irvine, according to Erin's grandmother, Tina Didreckson.

The family will be within 20 minutes of the facilities, which is important since there is about a three-hour window in which the transplant must take place once a viable organ becomes available, Didreckson said.

Tanner was born with a rare liver disease called biliary atresia, and her kidneys, pancreas and other digestive organs are beginning to fail.

Amber was born in California, and the church where she was baptized and confirmed is sponsoring the family, and the church members and family members are helping them settle into a rental home and find jobs. Didreckson said.

The family didn't want to move but, simply, the chances are better of Erin receiving a transplant in a more populace state than they are in Minnesota, Didreckson said.

Didreckson's parents, her sister and other friends live in the Santa Ana area, she said.

The family is deeply indebted to people in the Morris area who helped raise money for the family with fundraisers and in other ways, she said.