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Jacob Higham Support Fund

Registered Name: CHARITABLE FOUNDATION OF THE FAMILY (CALGARY)

Business No: 887346682RR0001

Jacob Higham Support Fund

In 2017 while serving a humanitarian mission for his church in France, Jacob stepped into a pothole and turned his ankle. A slight, innocuous ankle sprain that should have healed in a few days, triggered a condition known as CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) – one of the most painful, debilitating conditions known to medical science.

What is CRPS?

CRPS (previously known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome or Causalgia) is a rare, chronic neurological disorder affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems – resulting in constant, excruciating pain, inflammation, and complete immobility of the affected limb.

CRPS is known anecdotally as the “Suicide Disease” because the pain is so incapacitating that too many lose hope. The McGill University Pain Index ranks CRPS pain (42 out of 50) as one of the highest thresholds possible: compared with amputation (40), childbirth (38), phantom limb pain (28), cancer (25) and shingles nerve pain (22).

Jacob’s Medical Journey

Following a test in early 2018 until today, Jacob has seen 23 specialist doctors and has endured numerous medical surgeries and interventions, none of which have worked to relieve his pain or restore his mobility, including:

  • Four spinal blocks;
  • Hydro-dissection along the perineal nerve;
  • Platelet-Rich-Plasma (PRP) injections;
  • Nerve Dissection surgery in Edmonton (to remove scarring along the perineal nerve);
  • Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulator surgery in Vancouver (which implanted permanent “electrical” leads to vertebrae tissue in his spine as well as a permanent battery pack in his lower back to charge the leads); and
  • Countless, ongoing physiotherapy modalities.

Jacob has not been able to walk (or bear any weight at all) on his right foot for over five years. He currently must take very high doses of Gabapentin every day to manage the ongoing pain, in addition to periodic doses of Percocet when the pain gets too much to handle.

Perhaps most worrisome is that the CRPS appears to be moving to his left (good) foot, with growing pain experienced in that foot for the past six months. 

Unfortunately, this is a common characteristic of CRPS, with many individuals eventually becoming wheelchair-bound, or suffering full-body CRPS.

Our Plea for Help

Due to his prolonged suffering, Jacob was at the point of seriously considering below-knee amputation, when about a month ago the family was referred by a friend to the Spero Clinic in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Spero Clinic is a facility that specializes in CRPS – with an 85% successful recovery rate.

After all Jacob’s been through, there is now real hope that this clinic could help Jacob walk again.

The Financial Burden of Jacob’s Treatment

Jacob's family has supported him financially and otherwise through many attempts to provide relief and recovery.  As the Spero Clinic is in Fayetteville, Arkansas there are the added costs of travel, accommodation, and living expenses while down in the States.  The support of Jacob’s community has been tremendous thus far, having raised over half the estimated costs to date.

Estimated Costs for Jacob

The Spero Clinic provides a 17-week, intensely grueling neuro-muscular rehabilitation program which costs $70,000 CDN, including supplementary medical support, a PRN unit, and other specialized testing and therapies.

The goal of the fund is to raise $85,000 this year.  The Charitable Foundation of the Family (CFF) is pleased to establish the Jacob Higham Support Fund in support of this fundraising goal.  

100% of funds raised in this campaign will be used to pay for Jacob’s treatment at the Spero Clinic: firstly, for his medical treatment, and secondly, for the costs related to travel and other incidental expenses for him and family support for an anticipated 17 weeks.

Since the Foundation is very focused on efficient operation of its charity, it will contribute all administrative costs to manage the Jacob Higham Fund, so 100% of your donations will help Jacob’s care directly.  There are no costs in fundraising as this is done by volunteers.

Response – To Assist in Jacob’s Care

The Charitable Foundation for the Family (CFF) has established the Jacob Higham Support Fund.  If you or your family would like to support Jacob, here is how you can do so:

1. Send a cheque, made out to the Charitable Foundation for the Family, to:

127, 808 42nd Avenue SE Calgary, AB T2G 1Y9.

Attach a note indicating that your donation is for the Jacob Higham Support Fund. 

You can choose to be named or to remain anonymous; please let CFF know your preference. 

2. If you wish to donate online, please visit: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/charitable-foundation-of-the-family-calgary/ and click “Donate Now” and indicate the Jacob Higham Support Fund. Please note that donations made online are subject to a 3% administration fee by CanadaHelps.org.

3. CFF will distribute money raised by this Fund to pay for the Jacob’s treatment at the Spero Clinic, in response to receipted costs. CFF will send you a charitable tax donation receipt for amounts of $20 or more.

4. Any funds raised for the Jacob Higham Support Fund, but not needed for Jacob’s treatment program, shall be returned to CFF to be utilized at the sole discretion of the CFF Board.

With your generosity, we can help Jacob receive the medical care he needs for hope to walk again and to gain back a quality of life most of us take for granted. 

Thank you for your kind consideration and help.

Charitable Foundation of the Family