Sangudo school helping grant young girlís wish

A fund-raiser is being held on Nov. 15 at David Ovans Elementary School that could help change the life of a four-year-old Sangudo girl who suffers from type-1 spinal muscular atrophy.

Nicole Quintal
Reporter
Wednesday November 15, 2006

A fund-raiser is being held on Nov. 15 at David Ovans Elementary School that could help change the life of a four-year-old Sangudo girl who suffers from type-1 spinal muscular atrophy. The event will begin at 7 p.m., and aims to improve the quality of life for young Kaitlyn Pas by making her wish come true.
The young girlís disease prevents her from using the muscles surrounding her spine, which limits her from doing simple activities such as walking, standing, coughing or sitting and even makes swallowing difficult. She also requires a machine to make breathing easier during the night.
However, as soon as she is in water she can move more freely, and last December an organization donated a special therapy tub for her so she could indulge in physical activity. Accommodating the tub requires an additional room to be built on to the familyís house. Otherwise itís not safe for Pas to use.
"That was her wish, to have a special tub," Pasí mother Hali Harapchuk said.

The renovation is expected to cost around the $15,000 and staff at David Ovans School, who are putting on the fund-raiser, are encouraging people to come out and lend a helping hand.
"The fund-raiser itself is for a very good cause," said teacher Lana Brand. "I just hope people will come out and support this cause, plus, itíll be very entertaining."
Two musical acts will perform at the event, including Joanne and Hayley Myrol and the Magic Lamp Singers, while donations will be accepted at the door.
Children who suffer from spinal muscular atrophy often canít live long due to the circumstances related to the disease. For instance, if they succumb to pneumonia, they can die, because they cannot cough properly. Pas is still alive because of her familyís strong determination to keep her alive. Harapchuk said they found a doctor in the United States that provided strict, 24-hour protocol in order to help Pas.
"She wasnít supposed to live to be one," Harapchuk said. "It was our choice to let her go, or to take on this protocol."
When first hearing about the fund-raiser last month, Harapchuk was quite shocked, but grateful to the staff for thinking of her daughter while being so busy with getting report cards out. "John (Pas) and I arenít the type of people to go and ask for help. It really touched me. I was really moved and very thankful."