KAWARTHA LAKES: Meredith and Derek Welch, a local Pontypool couple, are looking to raise $150,000, to fund their daughter’s life changing surgery other and related costs.
The family is looking to give 5 year-old Taylor Welch the opportunity to walk.
In August of 2011, Taylor was born 12 weeks premature. A six months old, she was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. Since the diagnosis, Taylor has undergone physiotherapy, as well as Botox injections every three months to try and control the stiffness in her legs.
The family later heard about a procedure, called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR). The procedure involves making a two-inch incision in the spine, which reveals the nervous system. Doctors then identify which nerves are causing the tightness and those are cut. This type of surgery is only done at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
The family turned to the fundraising website GoFundMe, to raise the necessary funds. As of press time, the online campaign has raised $22,811. As well, fundraisers for Taylor have been held at a Peterborough Petes game, as well as at the Pontypool Community Centre.
Meredith Welch said it has been amazing to see the support for Taylor from the community.
"We can't even believe it. Everyday, someone else is volunteering to do something or people are dropping stuff off at my parents' house, people are bringing cheques by. We just got something in the mail today from a complete stranger and he had sent a cheque and a colouring book and stuff for us and an inspirational book for us to read,” she said.
Of the $150,000 the family is looking to raise, $55,000 will be for the SDR surgery, $20,000 will be for orthopedic surgery, $15,500 will be used for hotel and travel expenses and the rest of the funds will be used for physiotherapy and necessary equipment for their home.
Mrs. Welch said despite what Taylor has gone through so far, she has been resilient.
“She's so considerate and she's always energetic and wanting to do stuff she loves. If it's a party or a gathering, she always wants to do something. She's a very happy child,” Mrs. Welch said.
She described her daughter as someone who is “funny and full of life.”
For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/taylors-journey-to-walk or e-mail email@example.com.