Before the relentless pain, extreme mood swings, double vision and ringing in her ears, Mikayla Curran lived the life of a happy, healthy 11-year-old.
She played with her eight-year-old sister, swam with her swim club and hung out with her friends. A Wetaskiwin honor roll student, she still found time to enjoy reading, camping, boating and horses.
But, suddenly without warning, that all changed.
After more than a year of debilitating symptoms, an MRI revealing a 15mm symptomatic pineal cyst deep in the middle of Mikayla’s brain; a cyst that continues to cause symptoms that are so strong they have taken away her will to live.
Mikayla Curran’s great-grandparents Howard and Alice Steele, who live Rimbey, are devastated by their great-granddaughter’s illness.
“She is the most sweetest little girl,” said her great-grandmother, Alice. “But (due to the cyst) she has these up and down mood swings and is in so much pain. It is just so sad to see.”
The extreme pain and other relentless symptoms that continue to make the child’s life a living hell are extremely difficult for the entire family to deal with, but the fact the youngster has actually lost her will to live, is an especially hard cross to bear.
“She doesn’t want to live if she can’t get better,” said her great-grandfather.
There is surgery available to remove the benign tumor that has turned Mikayla’s life into a living nightmare, but, there are on a few neurosurgeons in the world who will undertake the dangerous procedure.
None of them practice in Canada.
The family has located a neurosurgeon in Houston, Texas who has agreed to perform the procedure in late June. The cost of the surgery is not covered by Alberta Health Care. There is an application process the family may go through to apply for funding, but the procedure is lengthy and takes months to obtain.
There have been Albertans who have applied that have been denied funding, because they went ahead and had the surgery done prior to receiving approval for the coverage.
The surgery itself will cost $210,000 plus the travel costs and the requirements of staying in Texas for three weeks post operatively to ensure the child is healing properly.
To help the family through this difficult time, a trust fund has been set up at Alberta Treasury Branches throughout the province and a website set up for on-line donations.
The following comment is posted on the website which may be reached at http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/mending-mikayla/164560
“Mikayla has always been such a kind and caring child. She is now in need of others to show her the world is made of kind and caring individuals willing to give her the help she has been begging for. She needs this surgery as soon as possible to get her better and stop her suffering. Mikayla is so appreciative of whatever donation you are able to give to help her.”