Gravenhurst boy with cerebral palsy to undergo surgery thanks to public help
Published Wednesday, January 4, 2017 6:59PM EST
Ethan Van Ekelenburg-Scharman was born a fighter.
At 18 months, Ethan was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Now an energetic four-year-old, he gets around with the help of a walker or crawls. But that could all change.
"We received a letter on Feb. 27 stating that Ethan was the ideal candidate for this surgery, and they expect him to walk independently in all environments," says Tina Van Ekenlenburg, Ethan’s mother.
The surgery treats spastic cerebral palsy and is performed in the United States. The surgery is very expensive and not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.
Van Ekenlenburg works seasonally and couldn't afford it, so she reached out to the community for help.
"I was blown away. We started fundraising in March of 2016 and as of today we've raised $127,000."
Last year CTV News shared Nathan Perry's story. He underwent the same procedure and it was a success.
"Nathan is such an inspiration. I’m overcome with emotion to think what Ethan will be able to accomplish."
The community effort might allow a mother to see something special in September, her baby boy walking into his first day of kindergarten.
"Just the thought of it is making me tear up right now. It would be everything.”
Ethan and his parents head to St. Louis on Saturday. They'll spend about four weeks there after the surgery.
Van Ekenlenburg plans to use any extra money left over from their fundraising effort to help another family in a similar situation.