Saturday, 21 May 2011

OT: Niece wins

From a modest fundraising effort to province-wide media coverage, the efforts of a niece to get from Nova Scotia to California with her six-year-old daughter for brain surgery steamrolled to success this week.

The Nova Scotia government has heard the mounting criticism of a medical system that wouldn't pay for transportation and accommodation costs for a guardian escorting a child for out-of-country surgery.

Shannon Price was doing it on her own with the growing support of friends, family, colleagues at three jobs she holds and strangers before print and online community newspapers published her story, followed by a CBC interview and a Halifax Chronicle-Herald story.

The news Shannon, whose late mother, Sylvia, was a nurse, wanted to hear came yesterday when the provincial government announced changes would be made by June 1.

The government announced it will expand the existing Travel and Accommodations Assistance Policy to include increased support for family members.

Initially, the province agreed to pay for young Chelsea's medical expenses, airfare and accommodation, but not her mother's.

"It's a huge relief to know that we'll be reimbursed for my airfare and my hotel while we're there," Shannon told CBC News.

But, she told CBC News, what is more exciting is it it will benefit not just her, but other families.

"I think that's what I'm most excited about because not everybody can fundraise and not everybody will have the support."

The June journey to California will be less of a mental and financial burden thanks to the fundraising efforts that grew until the media and the government listened.

Congratulations to all who got involved. It warms the heart. Common sense does prevail when a community rallies and the media responds. 

It makes this blogger damn proud of the media.

Now let's get young Chelsea to California for those multiple and potentially life-saving brain embolizations and surgery.

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