EVENT DATE: Mar 31, 2016
**A Story From A Loving Father** My daughter's name is Suharshi Lakshika Dabrera. She is 15 years old and lives with her 7 year old brother and myself and my lovely wife. Suharshi is studying at St Ann's convent, Wattala, in Sri Lanka. She is doing well with her studies. Last year she won the best student awarded for English Literature in grade Ten section. Her ambition is to be a Doctor so that she can help other people, especially children who are affected with scoliosis. She is a very determined character who likes to do things her own way. Her hobbies include music and reading, and she is a huge fan of the One Direction band. She used to be fond of playing badminton and swimming until being diagnosed with scoliosis illness 4 years ago. And from that point onwards her normal life changed drastically. Since scoliosis took over, she has struggled to participate in any sport activities or social gatherings in her school. She is very upset because she couldn't wear the dresses as she likes and always has to choose the dresses according her abnormal body shape and the brace that she must wear to reduce the pain. Our family life style also has changed and we all have been passing through a very difficult period trying to figure out a solution for my daughter's illness. As parents we felt helpless without knowing what will be our next step. For us going for a scoliosis surgery is so difficult because to meet the required funds are far beyond our reach and the procedure would need to be overseas. Sri Lanka does not have the medical facilities, Government funds, or specialized Doctors to do this kind of surgery. We prayed everyday asking for a solution for my daughter's illness. Time passes and we can see her body shape is changing and we were completely lost without any solution. In one of my sleepless nights I was surfing the internet regarding scoliosis illness and suddenly appeared in Google search the SpineHope page. Recently we received an email saying that my daughter's case has been reviewed by the surgeons and she has been selected as a U.S. Hub patient. We were so happy, especially my daughter, and our hearts filled with a new hope. Simply for us it's a Miracle!! ~Ajith Dabrera, Suharshi’s Father --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We would like to introduce Miss Suharshi Dabrera, a lovely 15 year old girl suffering from severe Thoracolumbar Scoliosis who lives with her family in Ragama, Sri Lanka. Suharshi was first diagnosed with her condition over 4 years ago, after she started to feel considerable back pain. Despite the economic conditions of her country and her family’s small income, her parents have remained committed to helping their daughter find treatment. Over the last 4 years, Suharshi has been through a gamut of tests, has received extensive physiotherapy and has been wearing a back brace for 23 hours out of every single day. Unfortunately, the brace is not able to correct her spinal curves and is only worn to reduce pain. She is advised by her physicians that surgery is the only option. The surgery required is not available where she lives and the option to take her overseas would cost her family tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars. Financially it is far beyond their reach. Meanwhile, Suharshi’s condition continues to deteriorate. In 2012, without a brace she had an upper curve (Thoracic Curve) of 66 degrees and lower curve (Lumbar Curve) of 62 degrees. In 2015, Suharshi had new X-rays taken and, despite wearing the brace, her curves have clearly become more severe with a Thoracic Curve of 93 degrees and a Lumbar Curve of 106 degrees. Suharshi’s pain is significant and continues to increase as her self-esteem continues to decline. Thankfully they reached out to SpineHope for help! In 2014, SpineHope launched the U.S. Hub Program which is focused on finding ways to bring children, suffering from severe spinal deformities and other complex spine conditions, to Austin, Texas for surgery and treatment. We developed this program to help children in countries, like Sri Lanka, where we are not currently able to establish global outreach programs (medical missions). We are pleased to announce that Suharshi has been selected as the next SpineHope U.S. Hub Patient and will travel to Austin for spinal deformity corrective surgery, scheduled for March 31, 2016 at Dell Children’s Medical Center, a member of Ascension. Her surgery is to be performed by volunteer surgeon and SpineHope Board Chairman Dr. Matthew Geck of the Seton Spine and Scoliosis Center. Suharshi’s surgery and recovery care is possible due, in part, to our partnership we have with Dell Children’s, and the volunteer services we receive from other generous healthcare service organizations (including: ARA Austin Radiological Association, Bee Caves Pediatrics, Capital Anesthesia Association, Austin Children’s Chest Association, Pediatric Critical Care Associates, Pediatric Specialty Services, ‘Specially for Children, Children’s Hospital Subspecialists of Central Texas, Seton Children’s Ear Nose & Throat Center, and Seton UT/Southwestern University Physicians Group) for the SpineHope U.S. Hub Program. Bringing children to the United States for surgery is a challenge and requires considerable funding even over and above all the volunteer medical staff and donated equipment and facilities. The child selected and one parent/guardian are required to arrive in Austin a week prior to surgery for a number of doctor appointments, X-rays, MRIs and other pre-operation clearance appointments. Once the surgery is performed, they are required to remain in Austin for 4-6 weeks for physical therapy, to monitor his/her recovery and to ensure there are no complications. To help the family, SpineHope is financially responsible for all non-donated medical expenses, travel, lodging, transportation, Visa applications, food, etc. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, we rely heavily on the donations we receive from generous corporations and individuals who believe in our mission and want to help us transform children’s lives. We need all the help we can get and so does Suharshi! If you would like to join the Suharshi campaign, please consider making a donation! Thank you for helping us change her life.