Paralyzed Two-Year-Old Receives Gift of Hope

Paralyzed Two-Year-Old Receives Gift of Hope

Julia Grassmick Cheque Presentation
Julia Grassmick receives a cheque for $10,000 from the BCHF and the BC Paraplegic Foundation. L-R: Dana Lee Harris (Vice Chair, BCHF), Melissa Grassmick, Julia Grassmick, Ryan Grassmick, Maureen Brownlee (Manager of Operations, Spinal Cord Injury BC).

Two-year-old Julia Grassmick, recently paralyzed from the waist down, is the recipient of a $10,000 grant, with $5,000 donated from the BC Hospitality Foundation and $5,000 from the BC Paraplegic Foundation and Fantasy Food 2000. This grant is the fourth such partnership between the charities since 2008.

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.

Following months of treatment and research, this grant will be used for Julia to attend a program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, a facility in Baltimore which aims to help children with spinal cord injuries recover to their fullest potential.

Julia’s mother, Melissa, is the former senior conference manager at the Delta Hotels Grand Okanagan Resort in Kelowna, who left a full-time position to care for her daughter. She shares, “My husband and I are so grateful for the financial assistance that the BCHF and the BC Paraplegic Foundation have been able to offer us. We are so happy to be able to take Julia to Kennedy Krieger in September to get the therapy program she needs. Thank you ever so much for your incredible support!”

In 2000, a fundraiser called Fantasy Food 2000 was held to benefit a hospitality industry worker who suffered from a spinal cord injury. Since then, additional funds raised were held in trust with Spinal Cord Injury BCand the BC Paraplegic Foundation, earmarked to be given to hospitality workers at a time of financial need. The original Fantasy Food 2000 funds have now assisted four BCHF beneficiaries, including Michael Willingham (2008), Matthew Loring (2011), Shannon Elmer (2015), and now Julia Grassmick.

Melissa Julia Ryan Grassmick
Melissa, Julia and Ryan Grassmick are the latest beneficiaries of the BCHF and the BC Paraplegic Foundation.

Follow Julia’s journey at