A Montreal mother of two is raising funds to pay for a life-saving surgery that isn’t available in Quebec to remove an extremely rare brain tumour, after the province’s insurance board (RAMQ) has denied her coverage.
Celyn Harding-Jones is organizing an online auction, hoping to raise the $200,000 she needs to cover the costs of surgery with the world’s leading expert in the United States.
“I’m fighting for my life, so I have no option,” Harding-Jones said.
Harding-Jones suffers from an extremely rare brain tumour called a colloid cyst.
As a result, she said she suffers from extreme fatigue and pain, she suddenly loses the use of her limbs and even consciousness, ending up several times in the emergency room.
Quebec neurosurgeons that she’s consulted have admitted to not having the expertise to remove her tumour safely. They can only intervene when the tumour bursts — something that could lead to her death.
Harding-Jones said that being a mother of two young children, she can’t take that risk and can no longer wait.
“My physical condition has been deteriorating,” Harding-Jones said.
That’s why Harding-Jones’ community has stepped in to help.
Community members have donated items, including the work of renowned artists, and services such as singing lessons and a decluttering session.
Satay Brothers is donating gift certificates to the restaurant. “It was just really a small thing we could do to help her in such a tough situation,” said Alex Winnicki, co-owner of Satay Brothers.
Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen and his wife Shannon are donating a signed hockey stick and a pair of tickets to any Habs game.
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“It’s just a simple thing that hopefully can go a long way for her and the family,” Allen said.
Harding-Jones has been given a date for her surgery in the United States: Nov. 28.
The auction is her last push in the fight for her life and for her family.
It closes Sept. 20.
Mother from Quebec denied full coverage of ultra-specialized brain surgery
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