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Approve Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy Surgery!

This petition had 953 supporters

Parents in Ontario are currently fighting an uphill battle against the Ontario Health Insurance Plan and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in order to allow their kids to undergo an APPROVED treatment for Cerebral Palsy.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills (the ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful way). CP is usually caused by brain damange that occurs before or during a child's birth, or during the first 3 to 5 years of a child's life.

The brain damage that leads to cerebral palsy can also lead to other health issues, including vision, hearing, speech problems and other learning disabilities.

There is no cure for CP, but treatment, therapy, special equipment, and, in some cases, surgery can help a child who is living with the condition.

Approximately 1 of every 500 children born in Canada have the condition.

The three types of CP are:

1. spastic cerebral palsy - causes stiffness and movement difficulties.

2. athetoid cerebral palsy - leads to involuntary and uncontrolled movements.

3. Ataxic cerebral palsy - causes a disturbed sense of balance and depth perception.

CP affects muscle control and coordination, so even simple movements - like standing still - are difficult. Other vital functions that also involve motor skills and muscles - such as breathing, bladder and bowel control, eating, and learning may also be affected when a child has CP. 

What is Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy?

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery is a procedure that treats muscle spasticity caused by abnormal communication among the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.

Spasticity most commonly affects patients who have cerebral palsy. SDR surgery corrects muscle spasticity by cutting the nerve rootlets in the spinal cord that are sending abnormal signals to the muscles.

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy has been shown to:

- Reduce spasticity.

- Improve gait (walking) patterns.

- Help people use energy and oxygen more efficiently.

- Improve range of motion and functional mobility.

- Make it easier to perform self care activities, such as getting dressed and grooming.

The Problem:

SDR is an OHIP insured service as long as there's a letter of support from an Ontario specialist, however, families in Ontario are quickly finding out that no one in the province will sign and approve the request parents make for the surgery.

So what are these parents left to do? What would you do if your child had cerebral palsy and assistance was within reach? Anything!

Aidan before and after SDR surgery

Doctors and health minister at odds over cerebral palsy surgery, families not getting funding

Families fighting for childrens’ surgery rejected by OHIP

Many parents are going online to websites such as GoFundMe in order to raise money for the surgery, which doesn't come cheap. The total cost for the SDR surgery can be as high as $100,000.00. 

What is the reason behind these objections? McMaster Children's Hospital has SDR listed as an option on its own website, but in a rejection letter to one of the families requesting an assessment they stated that they are still working on a consensus on the surgery. "For the time being we will be unable to accept this referral."

SDR has been performed for almost 30 years in St.Louis, Missouri, on more than 3,000 patients.

This surgery is the answer that families have been looking for. The stories of the children that have undergone this surgery are a testament to the success of this procedure so please Honorable Dr. Eric Hoskins consider changing policy, consider the benefits of this surgery and allow children, our future, to be liberated and have the chance to experience the freedom that they deserve.

Today: katharine is counting on you

katharine warren needs your help with “Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Ontario Health Insurance Plan: Approve Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy Surgery!”. Join katharine and 952 supporters today.