Deb and I are involved with a number of fundraising endeavors that we are extremely proud to be associated, but our latest initiative has risen to another level.
Madison Ambos, a 3-year girl was diagnosed at 13 months with Cerebral Palsy and for the past two years her parents have been researching therapies and treatments for CP. Their tireless efforts were finally rewarded a year ago when they discovered a surgical procedure called SDR that cuts nerves in the Spinal Column to relieve the spasticity that causes difficulty in balance and walking. This also doesn’t take into account the constant pain Madison incurs, likened to a nagging muscle cramp. Katherine (Madison’s Mom) can’t remember the last time Madison had a pain free night of sleep.
The surgery once available in Toronto but no longer, is now performed by Dr. Park at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. The great news is Madison has been accepted to have this operation in May of this year. The bad news is the price tag of $140,000 that is not covered by OHIP. Some of the costs can be absorbed by OHIP if a Canadian Surgeon will sign off on the operation but its not guaranteed. The family cannot afford to wait because another opportunity might not occur.
If the family exceeds the $140,000, they will pass any additional funds to another Canadian family in need of this procedure; the fight continues.
Through numerous small fundraisers, donations and a “GofundMe” page, the challenge to raise the massive sum has been on going. We have a family connection and have followed Madison’s progress since the devastating news was delivered.
What has amazed us following Madison’s progress is the positive spirit from the family. They have rallied in unison (32 family members attend meetings to discuss fundraising) and not once was any “self pity” or “why me” ever posted or even discussed. It’s all about overcoming the setback and nothing but positive energy. I’m sure there has been many tears shed and every time I see a photo of Madison with her walker, it wells me up.
On Feb 8, we held a fundraiser at our house, and with the driving force of the Gregoire family, friends and the media, it was a huge success. We didn’t want this to be a down evening but rather a celebration that Madison will receive the funding needed and over come the challenge that lays in front of her. It was awesome!
The media exposure went viral and donations poured in from across the country and south of the border as well. Wednesday the “Gofundme” account was at $80,000; two days later sits north of $130,000.
Madison’s story has attracted mass public appeal that has been overwhelming to say the least. A number of families in similar situations have reached out to Katherine (she knows of a dozen) and I received a note from friend of ours who knows a family that has been accepted for the operation in St Louis as well. They are financially challenged to meet the $140,000 but because of Madison’s family efforts, they are inspired to move forward. Katherine will give them some guidance.
Sadly the fight is not over and a number of Canadian families need help with this dreaded setback. The fundraising is still open and we encourage people to push the number over the line. If the family exceeds the $140,000, they will pass any additional funds to another Canadian family in need of this procedure; the fight continues.
Deb and I would like to thank everyone who has stepped up to assist in changing Madison’s life forever. Feel proud this little angel will be given a chance to experience something we all take for granted everyday of our lives; Walking!
Madison’s GoFundMe Page : www.gofundme.com/madimovesahead