When Diane Talbot-Schoenoff’s son Nick Schoenhoff recovered quickly after sustaining a spinal cord injury from snowboarding, it set in motion her quest to help other spinal cord victims receive the physiotherapy they needed for a speedy recovery.
“I recognized there was a need out there to provide more physiotherapy for children with spinal cord injuries who are transitioning from the paediatric to adult services,” said Talbot-Schoenoff. “In Ontario, there is no specialized outpatient rehab for children with spinal cord injuries.”
Instead, many have to rely on costly private therapy sessions. This motivated her to form the organization Support in Motion that helps families with the financial burden of receiving the much needed treatment.
Talbot-Schoenoff, along with Ingrid McAdam and her son Ian McAdam, who is a spinal cord injury victim, shared their story during the Oakville Shriner’s Meeting at Mo’s Family Restaurant on Wednesday (May 18, 2011). To date the Shriners have contributed $1,500 of the $42,000 raised by Support in Motion.
“After the physio from Bloorview, I couldn’t go to adult rehab,” said Ian McAdam, who broke his neck mountain biking in 2007 when he was 13. “There is an empty hole between that adolescence from 12 to 17 or 18 in which there is no real full time rehab.”
Without adult rehab available to him, Ian McAdam had been receiving private physiotherapy. Some people are lucky and have insurance to cover the approximately $14,000 a year it cost. However, even that had its limits.
“We had some physio insurance but that’s run out,” said Ingrid McAdam. “Support in Motion has really assisted us and all the kids who have fallen through the cracks. You can’t get adult physio and the [private physio] bills start mounting. Those kids need physio and they need to work out.”
Ian McAdam, with Support in Motion’s help, has been receiving physiotherapy three times a week.
“He sleeps better, has [better] blood circulation,” said Ingrid McAdam. “That’s number one instead of all kinds of medication and drugs.”
Talbot-Schoenoff had been developing Support in Motion for three years, raising money behind the scenes but it wasn’t until February that the organization became fully incorporated and organized.
She also said that Support in Motion was invited today to take part in the Ontario Association of Children’s Rehabilitation Services.
“It’s a watchdog for rehab services for children and so it’s recognized us as a legitimate organization that is helping to rehab children,” said Talbot-Schoenoff.
The organization currently has three children as clients with five more awaiting approval for the program.
Applicants from Toronto through the Kitchener-Waterloo area who are medically stable, have an incomplete spinal cord injury and have an expressed need for financial assistance can apply by contacting Diane Talbot-Schoenoff at (905) 825-5152 or via email at email@example.com