A 10-year-old Whitby boy with cerebral palsy is getting closer to having life-changing surgery, that will hopefully allow him to walk without support.
Cameron Imrie and his family have been fundraising for the procedure for months. They held a final fundraiser Friday, with the help of a family that has gone through a similar experience.
The Hatties know what the Imries are going through. Their four-year-old daughter Brooklyn has cerebral palsy and had the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy procedure in Missouri, this past February.
“When we came back from St. Louis after having surgery, Brooklyn came home from school one day and said she could sit ‘criss-cross apple sauce.’ Well, it may be something simple for everyone else but anyone who has experienced cerebral palsy, that’s a huge deal,” said Julianne Hattie, Brooklyn’s mother.
The final funds needed for Cameron’s surgery were raised by the two families at the second annual Brooklyn Hattie Golf Classic.
“I couldn’t thank people enough, so many people have helped us. There’s no way we could possibly thank everybody for the help they’ve given us,” said Melanie Imrie, Cameron’s mother.
“I didn’t expect such a large amount of people and such a small community to help me, one person, get surgery,” said Cameron.
The procedure was initially slated to take place in St. Louis — but a recent call from Toronto`s Hospital for Sick Children changed all that.
Cameron will now receive care in Toronto — much closer to home — making him one of the first to receive the SRD surgery in Canada.
“After a lot of contemplation and many sleepless nights, we decided that the best decision was to have Cameron stay here. The doctor that will be doing the surgery is amazing. The aftercare that we’re going to be receiving is amazing,” said Melanie.
“While I’m in the hospital for however long, my family, my entire family can come and visit,” said Cameron.
Cameron knows there’s still a long journey ahead, but can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“I’m most looking forward to being like everybody else, not just having to be in a wheelchair all the time, having a hard time standing still, those simple little things,” said Cameron.
Thanks to Sick Kids, the surgery, and part of his rehab will now be covered by OHIP, and the $100,000 raised will go towards equipment and further rehabilitation. If there’s any money left over, the Imries plan on donating it to another family in need.
“This is nice that we can finally relax and now we can focus on Cameron and focus on the surgery,” said Melanie.
The Imries have an assessment scheduled in July, to set a date for the life-changing procedure.