Bloggers Band Together to Help a Little Girl Walk Again

9:47 AM

 Photos from Beautiful Side of Hectic.

One of my very best online friends Chery Peters has a beautiful and intelligent little girl named Jillian. Unfortunately, Jillian has Cerebral Palsy and as you can imagine has difficulty learning to walk with her muscles being so tight all the time. In lieu of multiple surgeries, Cheryl decided to try botox injections into the targeted muscle groups in an attempt to help her daughter. It worked and Jillian was actually able to walk flat-footed with the help of a walker!

The problem? The treatments must be done every 3 months and cost nearly $1,000 each round. Their insurance company Manulife Financial continually denies the claim, even with recommendation letters from the doctor. After the first round of treatment was donated, Cheryl thought she would have to give up hope of her daughter walking again, until a group of bloggers banded together to raise money and get Jillian walking again.

Bloggers Raise Money For Child’s Botox Treatment

09.17.2011– Toronto, Ont. September 17th 2011 – Social Media Users rally together to raise money for 3 Year Old Jillian’s Cerebral Palsy treatment after the insurance claim was denied by Manulife Financial. The insurance company denied coverage of the Botox Injections which would allow Jillian to learn to walk because they were being administered in The Hospital for Sick Kids and not a private clinic. Cheryl Peters, Jillian's mother, fought with Manulife on the phone for months only to be told that it didn't matter who she spoke to, or what letters she had from the medical team; the claim wouldn't be covered. Many kids with Cerebral Palsy are approved for this treatment by different insurance companies throughout Canada. The treatment is given in hospital and not a clinic because sedation is used due to the number of needles required. "Asking a 3 year old sit through that procedure without sedation is barbaric," says Cheryl.

Dr. Fehlings, Jillian's doctor, wrote to Manulife, pleading “We are hopeful you will reconsider the coverage of Botox (Botulinum Toxin A) for Jillian as it has been shown to be efficacious for this young girl allowing her to walk, sit and play with her peers.” Nobody at Manulife read the letter.

Cheryl turned to her blog for support. She wrote about her frustrations and her feelings of failure as a parent and her readers responded. Comments, tweets and facebook posts flooded in in support of Jillian and her plight. Blogger Rhea, of organized an impromptu fundraiser and donations seemed to come from nowhere. In a matter of minutes there was cash and items for a fundraising auction coming in from social media users in Canada and the USA.

Now, thanks to funds raised by the bloggers, Jillian will keep her next appointment for Botox Injections (scheduled for Wednesday Sept 21st) and will regain the movement she is rapidly losing as her previous treatment wears off. She will no longer look to her mother and ask why her legs won't work. On Wednesday, Jillian will be back on her feet and ready to fight again but for how long? What will happen when this round wears off and her family is left with an enormous bill for the next treatment? 

How Can You Help?

To read Cheryl's original blog post visit To speak with her please email To donate cash or items for auction please email For more information on Botox treatments for Cerebral Palsy please visit

I encourage you to visit Cheryl's blog and read more about this amazing mama and little girl. Cheryl has never once stopped fighting to give Jillian a "normal" life in which she can do anything she puts her mind to and Jillian is one tough little cookie who faces everything with a joy that most of us could only wish to have.

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