Kelowna youngster hopes to walk again

Local fitness studio to donate funds from exercise classes today to help offset expenses for Julia Grassmick to overcome paralysis.

  • Jul. 9, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Julia Grassmick

A Kelowna two-year-old needs the public’s help to walk again.

Julia Grassmick, the daughter of a former senior employee at Kelowna’s Delta Grand Okanagan Hotel, was recently paralyzed from the waist down.

A two-week program at a specialized clinic in Baltimore, Maryland, will give young Julia the best possible chance to walk again, so today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., studioX Fitness (2-809 Finns Rd. in Kelowna) will turn over all the donations from its fitness classes to the Grassmick family. A minimum $10 donation confirms your spot in one of the classes. Call Kailey at 250-717-7046 to book a class or to donate.

Stepping in to help make the collected donations go further, the B.C. Hospitality Foundation, a charity that assists those in the hospitality industry who require financial assistance arising from a medical crisis, will match all funds raised, up to $5,000.

On Oct. 15, 2015, Julia Grassmick’s parents discovered their two year-old daughter in her bed, unable to move. After four days of investigation, doctors in Kelowna discovered a massive hematoma (blood clot) which had compressed her spinal cord.

Julia was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver for surgery on Oct.19, but the damage to Julia’s spine had already been done, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.

Hope for Julia exists at a facility in Baltimore called the Kennedy Krieger Institute which specializes in helping children with spinal cord injuries recover to their fullest potential. There, Julia would attend a two-week program using various pieces of equipment (many of which the family does not have access to in B.C.) following which, the therapists would provide a detailed program of home support.

The cost estimate for this program is approximately $12,500 US not including travel expenses, and is not covered by traditional insurances. This specialized therapy will give Julia the very best chance to walk again and if the family is able to raise the funds, they would immediately visit this highly recommended facility.

To learn more about Julia’s plight, check out onlline bchospitalityfoundation.com/help-julia-walk.

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