Get Greta Better

Greta Friesen is a 17 year old girl in grade 12 who has had a migraine every day for the last 3 ½ years.  At the end of grade 8 (4 years ago) Greta started getting migraines. Within a couple months her migraines intensified and eventually she got a migraine that never stopped. She went from being a vibrant, creative, outgoing girl that loved school, being involved in extra-curricular activities, playing volleyball , and volunteering in the community to being in non-stop pain, having no energy, and lying in bed 22-24 hours a day. At this point she can only attend one class a day at Kelowna Secondary School.  

Unfortunately, no medications, supplements, or special diets have worked for Greta so far. Though she has seen many specialists (neurologists, BC Children’s Hospital Chronic Pain Clinic, naturopaths, acupuncture, reiki, chiropractor, cranio-sacral therapy, physio, massage therapy, osteopathy…) no health practitioners have been able to bring her pain level down. The family is learning that there is often no clearly identified cause with migraine and it is usually genetic (her mother has migraines too but not daily).

There have been times when, for 10 days straight, she hasn’t left her bedroom except to go to the bathroom.  Lights are too bright, noises are too loud (even flushing the toilet) and the days are excruciatingly long. Many mornings she wakes up and is just waiting until bedtime. She even has migraines in her dreams so she never gets a break.  There are many days that Greta is holding on by a thread.

Some days Greta has a little more energy and is able to bake cookies or go on a small outing.  On those days the family feels optimistic but they are rare. 

The Friesen family has always thought that their last resort would be to take Greta to an inpatient clinic in the United States and they are at that point now.  The 3 week Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital offers hope to children and families coping with chronic pain, even after standard therapies, surgeries and medications have been exhausted. The program is designed to help both children and families reclaim their lives. Many  of the youth who attend the program are able to attend school full time again, get a part-time job, and go to university.  However, the cost of the program is roughly $60,000 Canadian.  THAT is why they have always put it off as a last resort.  It is A LOT of money.  But if it helps Greta to learn how to manage chronic pain, be more functional and participate in life it will be so worth it.  Greta has a confirmed start date for April 21, 2020 and the family is hopeful to go.  Let’s help get Greta there!!!

Here is the link to the Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/pediatrics/departments/pain-rehabilitation

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Donations

  • Karla Goth 
    • $1,000 
    • 11 d
  • Barbara Currie  
    • $75 
    • 12 d
  • Dawnalee Croteau 
    • $50 
    • 12 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 12 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 12 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Robyn Springer 
Organizer
Kelowna, BC
Carla Friesen 
Beneficiary
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