Hello, my name is Terence France. Our family is graciously asking for the help of the community. I am the father of two children with special needs, and I am currently on longterm disability.
My son Gabriel has been through hell and back – far more than you could imagine for a 10 year old. He has required multiple reconstructive hip operations the most recent was due to Legg-Perthes. He will require 2 additional hip surgeries in the near future, it is likely that the hip with Legg-Perthes will be require a prosthetic hip. He also has Kleinfelters Syndrome, which affects 1 in 50,000 children, and he also has Femoral Facia which there are currently just under 700 cases documented worldwide.
He is one of only five children in the world diagnosed with both diseases together.
His life has been a myriad of visits to CHEO for appointments and painful surgeries. Many of the costs we face are not covered. For example, he had to have his baby teeth surgically removed due to his genetic condition. Although the surgery was necessary for is health, it is considered “cosmetic” and cost us $7,000.
Despite the health issues and the pain he has suffered through, Gabriel is a happy kid. It breaks my heart that his life can’t be “normal”. He will never be able to raise his arms above his head or perform several tasks that the average child can.
My daughter has autism, which complicates the obstacles our family is facing. I live with my children and ex-wife, who also has special needs, and she has been incredibly supportive and my best friend through the difficulties I have been facing. She is unable to work due to medical issues, but does not qualify for any disability payments.
As I, myself, am on disability, I receive 60 per cent of my normal salary. For a family of four, with the extreme needs of my son as well as the needs of my daughter, it has been devastating. Our financial resources and credit limits have been exhausted to the point that paying the bills and buying groceries are no longer feasible. We are in a deep hole with no way out.
I am undergoing therapy and the drug program that I need will cost $3400. After that, there will be monthly or bimonthly injections for $800. The drug I need is not covered by OHIP or any insurance companies. This drug and therapy is crucial for me to get off longterm disability and be able to return to work.
It is incredibly humbling to be in a situation where we have to ask for help. Our hope is that I can regain my health and get back to work and support my family, and enable my two children to have a better life. Any financial help given to us will be greatly and sincerely appreciated.