Help Olena’s mom

I never thought that I would have a reason to start one of these and it’s taken me quite some time to decide to take the plunge and start this fundraiser for my mom. Reaching out for help is not something I've ever been good at, let alone for financial help. My mom’s situation is a tough subject for me and it’s something that I don’t usually feel very comfortable talking about but with the support from some really amazing pals, I’ve decided to go for it.

Back in June of 2008 my mom had a bad fall that resulted in her being taken to the hospital. She suffered a compression fracture of her L2 Vertebrae in her spine, meaning that portion of her spine had compressed in size by 60%. Since this happened she has been living with severe chronic back pain for almost 10 years and hasn’t been able to work since.

Her quality of life completely changed on that day- and though there have been countless efforts through physiotherapy, acupuncture, steroid injections and attempts to find any sort of long term solution that might help, the only thing she has been given as a “solution” is opioid pain medication. As most of you know, this is no way to go through life and it breaks my heart every damn day knowing that there isn’t much I can do for her.

She went from being an active woman who raised two children and enjoyed life to the fullest to someone who at this point can barely walk around or sit up straight for any period of time without being in severe pain. Her injury affects not only her back but as the years have gone by it has also caused severe pain in her legs resulting in full mobility issues. Her mobility is diminishing and for the longest time it has seemed as though no one was going to be able to offer any sort of solution.

After being told over and over again by doctors and surgeons that any sort of surgery was NOT an option it has been really hard to see her lose hope.

Nearly 10 years after her injury she has FINALLY been approved to fly to Boston next month to see a spinal specialist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. There, she will be getting a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted in to her back! 

An SCS device is surgically implanted near the spine to generate electrical currents that interfere with pain messages before they are delivered to the brain. A wire is inserted in to the spinal column in the space between the spinal cord and the vertebrae. This wire carries the electrical current from a pulse generator (think of it as a very small electrical box)  to the nerve fibres of the spinal cord. This is a therapy that has seen great results in helping manage a person’s chronic pain symptoms and decrease the use of opioids. 

There is no way that I would ever let my mom pass up this opportunity. After watching her struggle for so long, my ultimate hope is that the outcome of this procedure brings her long-term pain relief for the first time in years. She really hasn’t been able to catch a break and I’m hoping this is it.

 She has to be in Boston for approximately 4 weeks for this surgery and traveling to the states for medical procedures is extremely expensive. She hasn’t been able to work since before her injury and I know that this is going to be a serious financial burden for her.

My mom is the most amazing, positive woman despite everything that she deals with on a daily basis. She has always been my rock and my number one supporter. She has always gone above and beyond as a mother and has helped me through every tough situation I’ve had to deal with in my life so far, and now it’s my turn to help her out. I want to put a smile on her face and make sure that she is able to pay for her month away while she is rehabilitating in Boston.

It would be my dream to alleviate some of her financial stress and at this point I cant do it alone. My mom truly means the world to me and she would never do this herself, so I’ve decided to do it for her. I’m not looking for sympathy and neither is she. All I want is for my mom to have the chance to feel like herself again.

This amount would help cover a portion of her stay in Boston and make her time there more comfortable.
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Olena Kozel 
Winnipeg, MB
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