This year, on behalf of our clients, 365 Technologies is making a holiday donation to support Mason Ehmann’s mission to walk.
Mason is a caring and fun-loving four-year-old Winnipeg boy who was born with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. Spastic diplegia affects the arms and legs, making them stiff and contracted. Symptoms include:
- Cognitive impairment
- Toe walking
- Flexed knees
- Strabismus (one eye turning inward)
- Coordination and balance issues
Mason’s parents are T.J. and Andrea Ehmann, and he has a little brother named Easton.
Mason was born three months early and he had a lengthy stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. There were no major issues with his health until he showed some signs of muscle stiffness; he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 18 months.
Mason’s spastic diplegia impacts his muscle tone, mobility, balance and coordination in his legs and partially in his hands and arms. This is because the part of his brain that tells his limbs to relax is damaged, which causes constant muscle tightness (or “spasticity”).
For this reason, Mason can’t stand up unassisted, requires a walker to move around (or he crawls, which he prefers), and struggles with simple tasks, such as going to the bathroom and dressing himself. To relieve some of the spasticity in his legs, he gets regular Botox injections; however, this treatment is temporary and painful. Without surgery, Mason would require these injections for life.
Mason has a huge heart, and he radiates joy when he enters the room. He loves sports, especially hockey (“Go Jets Go!”) and baseball. His dream is to play sledge hockey and, one day, “stand-up” hockey. He loves driving down the street in his truck, playing with his Lego ninjas and hockey figures, and wrestling with his younger brother.
After submitting X-rays, MRIs, and videos, Mason’s been accepted as an excellent candidate for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery by Dr. T.S. Park from the St. Louis Children’s Hospital. SDR involves surgically entering the spine to remove a portion of one vertebra and stimulating the nerves to determine which are associated with cerebral palsy, and removing them.
Dr. T.S Park pioneered the single level laminectomy SDR and is renowned around the world for his expertise – he’s the only doctor solely dedicated to this treatment, and has performed close to 4,000 surgeries to date.
It’s believed that the SDR surgery and intensive physical therapy will increase Mason’s quality of life with these outcomes:
- Permanently reduced spasticity.
- Improved sitting and standing postures.
- Easier and faster transitions between postures.
- Improved balance and comfort level.
- The ability to walk independently.
To make this surgery and Mason’s dream come true, his family needs to raise $90,000 (estimated in Canadian dollars), for these expenses:
- SDR surgery: $53,000
- PERCS Surgery (muscle/tendon lengthening surgery): $11,000 to $17,000
- Accommodations and travel to St. Louis for one month: $8,000
- One-year post-op therapy in Canada: $13,000
If you like to help Mason reach his dream, please join us in donating to Mason’s Mission to Walk at his GoFundMe page.
Learn more about Mason on his Facebook page.