'Changing a life': Family, strangers fundraise for Ont. girl's $140,000 operation
Published Thursday, February 9, 2017 1:49PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 9, 2017 2:09PM EST
A three-year-old Toronto-area girl with cerebral palsy is well on her way to getting the surgery that she needs in the U.S. after family, friends and strangers stepped up to help pay for the costly operation.
Madison Ambos, of Pickering, Ont., suffers from a form of cerebral palsy called spastic diplegia, which causes her pain on a daily basis. Right now, she uses a walker to get around, but her mobility is limited.
“I can count on my hands the amount of times she’s actually slept through the night because of the amount of pain that she’s in,” says her mother, Katherine Ambos told CTV Toronto on Wednesday, during a Toronto fundraiser for her daughter.
Katherine said her daughter’s condition is deteriorating, as her feet have started to “roll in” due to tightness, and that her condition may have reached a point where she won’t be able to put any weight on her lower body or be able to move or walk.
A life-changing surgical procedure called selective dorsal rhizotomy could change that outcome, but it’s not offered in Canada.
As they sought treatment for Madison, her family looked south of the border, where they found Dr. T.S. Park at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Park, a pediatric neurosurgeon, specializes in selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery.
“Dr. Park predicts that he can eliminate most spasticity in her lower body,” Katherine said of the surgery.
Madison’s surgery is booked for May. In the meantime, friends, family and total strangers have stepped up to help pay for the whopping $140,000 operation bill.
A GoFundMe page has been set up, and on Wednesday night, Maple Leafs super fan Mike Wilson and his wife held a private fundraiser at their Toronto home for Madison, where they raised $20,000 alone, according to Katherine. So far, a total of $116,000 has been raised for Madison’s surgery.
“What we’re doing is changing a life forever,” host Mike Wilson told CTV Toronto.
On Thursday, Katherine told CTV News Channel that the support has been “overwhelming.
“It’s been exciting and it’s just been touching to see how much people really care about her, and want to help her get to St. Louis.”
With files from CTV Toronto’s Jamie Maraucher