Let's get Katie back on her feet

Let’s Get Mrs. Zirk Up On Her Feet Again

Whether you know her as “Kathy”, “Miss Katie”, “Katie” or “Mrs. Zirk” to us she's just, “Mom”. We are raising funds for her artificial disc replacement surgery at the ONZ Clinic in Dusseldorf, Germany.

About 10 years ago, while casted for a broken leg, Mom slipped and fell down a flight of stairs, rupturing discs in her spine. The necessary surgery that followed failed. It’s been a painful uphill climb since.

Mom’s passions are her family, her garden and helping young people-- especially those with severe behaviour and communication problems. Mom calls them “her kids” and there’s not much in life that gives her as much joy as working to make their lives the best that they can be. Her favourite aspect of her work is mentoring and helping others begin to understand the “bouncy kids” in a different way. 

Mom sustained her injury shortly after making the leap into private practice. Despite trying all types of therapies available, she has faced limitations without disability insurance.

Having limited success while working towards a return to work, things have become increasingly severe. Mom's mobility has been significantly reduced, leaving her bedridden most days. She is unable to sit, stand or walk for more than five minutes at a time, without experiencing severe nerve pain. Working full time and regular day to day life has been out of the question. 

For over 20 years, surgeons in Germany have been using artificial discs to help those with disc and nerve damage. Just like a knee or hip replacement, the faulty disc is removed and replaced with a prosthetic. The success rate for this procedure is over 90% and is covered by standard German healthcare. However, these procedures can cost up to $50,000 for non-residents.  

People have mentioned that they would like to help and with a bit of convincing, Mom has given us the go-ahead to accept any and all help you'd care to give. 

Let’s get Mom back on her feet and back to her life, doing what she loves.

The Zirks

  • Secret Santa 
    • $50 
    • 45 mos
  • Maude Synnott 
    • $100 
    • 45 mos
  • Karl Tiefenbach 
    • $150 
    • 46 mos
  • Andrea, Elsa, and Søren Nøstbakken 
    • $500 
    • 46 mos
  • Paul Chamberlin  
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Graeme Zirk 
Vancouver, BC
Katie Zirk 
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