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Big Dreams for Little Feet

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We're trying to raise $40,000 to help pay for a life-changing surgery that will help our son Cruz learn to walk independently!

Cruz is your typical 2-year-old boy who loves all things sports and outdoors. He can make anything into a game of baseball, golf or hockey. He enjoys spending his days playing outside in the sand or dirt. Whether it’s visiting the zoo, riding his therapeutic horse Max, or playing with his two dogs, Cruz is a natural animal lover. With his infectious smile and big heart, Cruz brings joy to everyone he meets. He has a quick wit and lots of love to share.

Cruz was born 3 months early on January 11, 2015, at only 27 weeks 5 days gestation. Due to his early arrival, he also has Cerebral Palsy: damage to the brain occurring before, during, or shortly after birth which impacts muscle tone and impairs muscle coordination. Although we don’t know the exact cause and time of his injury, his neurologist suspects in was sometime in the early days in the NICU. He explained that being born as early as Cruz was, his fragile and rapidly developing brain would have been very susceptible to outside factors.

Cruz’s form of Cerebral Palsy is called Spastic Diplegia, and is something he’ll live with his whole life. It manifests as an especially high and constant “tightness” or “stiffness” in the muscles of the lower extremities. He works very hard to improve function, strength and range of movement with his physiotherapists, other therapists and at home with mom and dad. With his daily efforts to improve mobility, he still relies on a walker to help him get around. Through many hours of research over the last year, we found out there is a way to help him walk independently and drastically improve his quality of life!

Why We Need Your Help

Cruz is an excellent candidate for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery and has been accepted by Dr. T.S. Park at St. Louis Children’s hospital in April of 2018. Dr. Park’s predictions for Cruz are: his spasticity will be permanently reduced, postures will improve, transitions between postures will be easier and faster, his balance and level of comfort will improve, and it will also reduce the chance for future orthopedic surgery. Dr. Park stated “Cruz will be able to walk independently in all environments.”

There are no words to describe the feeling to hear with such certainty the amazing predictions for Cruz. At this time, the surgery is not offered in Ontario. Our research in our options outside of Ontario brought us through may different surgery techniques, ranging in various levels of invasiveness. There are many doctors around the world who perform SDR and their skill and expertise vary greatly. This led us to Dr. Park who is largely consider the leader in the field and has pioneered the lesser invasive technique. He has also dedicated his career to performing SDR, with close to 4000 surgeries under his belt.

What We Need

Total costs are over $150,000. This amount covers the cost of the surgery, equipment for the home, physiotherapy both before and after the surgery, accommodation in St. Louis, travel costs and other costs associated with Cruz’s journey. We are looking to raise $40,000 to help pay for the surgery.

Thank you for your consideration and support and if you are interested in continuing to follow Cruz’s journey, please check out our blog: or on Facebook at

More About SDR Surgery

SDR (Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy) surgery was pioneered by Dr. Park at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital and he’s the world leader in performing this procedure. It involves surgically entering the spine to remove a portion of one vertebrae and stimulating the nerves to determine which are causing the muscle tightness associated with Cerebral Palsy and cutting those nerves. The tightness is what can deform the bones as the child grows and this surgery will hopefully ensure that Cruz avoids other painful and invasive surgeries down the road, along with giving him more independent movement.

For more information about St. Louis Children’s Hospital and SDR surgery, please check out the following link:



  • Bronia and Dan Kingsbury
    • $250 
    • 5 yrs
  • Cruz On Ice Fundraiser Hosted By Mike Wilson And Debra Thuet
    • $2,630 (Offline)
    • 6 yrs
  • Cruz On Ice Fundraiser Hosted By Mike Wilson & Debra Thuet
    • $4,750 (Offline)
    • 6 yrs


Kaylen Dillon
Whitby, ON

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