Two-year old Julia Grassmick has tragically been paralyzed from the waist down. The BCHF is matching funds being raised to help Julia walk again. Julia is the daughter of Melissa Grassmick, former senior conference manager at the Delta Grand Okanagan in Kelowna. Every dollar raised for Julia will be matched by the BC Hospitality Foundation, up to $5000. By supporting Julia at her upcoming fundraiser, or via her YouCaring page, we can turn that $5000 into $10,000 or more.
On Saturday, July 9 from 9:00am to 4:00pm, studioX Fitness (#2-809 Finns Rd, Kelowna) is generously giving 100% of donations from every class (minimum $10 donation per class, cash or cheque only) to the Grassmick family. Bring your friends and try something new: consider an Aerial Silk Teaser, Hula Hoop or Pole exercise class. A fun workout for a great cause. Your donation confirms your spot. Call Kailey at 250-717-7046 to book your class or to donate.
On October 15, 2015, Julia Grassmick’s parents discovered their two year-old daughter in her bed, unable to move. After four days of investigation, doctors in Kelowna discovered a massive hematoma (blood clot) which had compressed her spinal cord. Julia was rushed to BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver for surgery on October 19, but the damage to Julia’s spine had already been done, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.
Her parents, Melissa and Ryan, immediately researched facilities and treatment centres that help people recover from paralysis due to spinal cord injuries. The reality is that these facilities are privately-owned and therefore the therapy session costs are not covered by traditional insurance.
Even though specialized treatments for children with spinal cord injuries does not exist in British Columbia, Julia is currently attending weekly therapy at First Steps Wellness Centre for Spinal Cord Injuries in Vancouver, commuting from their Kelowna home, at a cost of $1700 per month. Melissa was forced to leave a senior position at the Delta Grand, a job that she worked for seven years to attain, so that she could attend the treatments with her daughter. Melissa’s EI benefits have also now almost expired.
Hope for Julia exists at a facility in Baltimore called Kennedy Krieger Institute which aims to help children with spinal cord injuries recover to their fullest potential. There, Julia would attend a two-week program using various pieces of equipment (many of which they do not have access to in Vancouver) following which, the therapists would provide a detailed program of home support. In addition, their therapists would be willing to communicate with Julia’s therapist at First Steps to continue the progress. The cost estimate for this program is approximately $16,265 Canadian dollars move to US dollars, not including travel expenses. This specialized therapy will give Julia the very best chance to walk again and if the family is able to raise the funds, they will immediately visit this highly recommended facility.
Melissa was encouraged by the Delta Grand’s general manager, Daniel Bibby, to contact the BCHF for support. The Foundation will match funds raised at studio and via Julia’s YouCaring page, up to $5000.
With the help of the community and the hospitality industry we can give Julia the help that she needs to walk again.