A die-hard Trailer Park Boys fan suffering from a chronic disorder says if it wasn’t for Bubbles, he wouldn’t be alive.
Tom Termeer has suffered from Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias — more commonly known as cluster headaches — since 2005. The disease causes an unbearable headache and unilateral pain in Termeer’s head and neck multiple times a day.
Sometimes, the pain can last three hours long.
“It’s been a hell of a road for the past 14 years,” Termeer said, adding he’s had four brain surgeries during that time.
“On average I get 15 to 20 migraines a month … and as a result of the surgeries I have neuropathic pain throughout my body.”
The 47-year-old has gone to great lengths in his hometown and surrounding areas to receive treatment for the pain, but nothing seems to work.
“Last September I was told by the pain clinic here in London that there’s no more help for me,” Termeer said, his voice trembling. “I have exhausted every test, MRI, CAT scan, X-rays, specialists, neurosurgeons, neurologists.
“They said I’ve exhausted all avenues, go home.”
But Mike Smith, who plays Bubbles on Trailer Park Boys, wouldn’t let that happen. The Dartmouth-based actor heard of Termeer’s story and what he’s done for others in the community, so he decided to help out.
Termeer says Smith’s support came at his most vulnerable time.
“By the time Mike got a hold of me I was probably about a day away from cashing out,” Termeer muttered. “Whether it was Mike on the other end of the phone that day, or a friend locally, or a relative, Mike just happened to the guy on that particular day at the lowest point of my life.”
Smith told Termeer that he has a close friend in New York who could perform a new stem cell procedure that could relieve some of his pain. But the price tag wasn’t cheap, so Smith created an online crowdfunding campaign with hopes of fellow Trailer Park Boys fans fronting some of the costs.
“He’s in a very desperate situation,” Bubbles said in a video on the crowdfunding page. “He’s got a very rare and extremely painful disease that doctors say is maybe the most painful thing known to science.”
“We’re going to raise some money for him … He’s a good fella and he deserves this.”
On May 6, Smith set out with a goal of raising $25,000 for the procedure. Termeer says the resulting show of support has been nothing short of astounding. He recently received the support of Ontario cannabis producer RedeCan, who has committed to fly Termeer and his wife back and forth to New York.
Smith is also raising funds on Cameo, where you pay to have celebrities record a personalized shout out.
“It’s just kind of been a domino effect from, ‘Hey Mike, I don’t want to be here anymore’ to ‘I’m sending you to New York and I’m going to save you,'” said Termeer. “For me to have this opportunity is an absolute chance of a lifetime.”
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Termeer’s first appointment with a specialist is scheduled for Thursday. He says words can’t express how grateful he is for the support of one of his favourite celebrities, who he now considers a close friend.
“Mike saved my life. Wholeheartedly, 100 per cent, he saved my life,” Termeer said.
“There’s no amount of money that could pay for that.”