OTTAWA – The father of an 8-year-old Richmond boy with severe Cerebral Palsy has started a crowdsourcing campaign, to raise money for his son’s equipment and specialized care needs.
Kyram Dear is non-verbal, and communicates through a series of blinks and tongue clicks, which powers a computer that allows him to string together sentences.
He is not able to sit, stand, or walk on his own, but is incredibly intelligent.
Despite his disability, Kyram has learned to read and write at a third grade level, thanks to the developmental education program at St. Luke’s Elementary School in Barrhaven.
His father Myles Dear is a software engineer for Cisco Systems in Ottawa, and lost his wife in 2011.
Government grants combined with insurance money from Kyram’s mother’s death has kept his education and equipment needs met, but that money has been exhausted.
“I need to find new ways of being able to support this wildly successful team,” Myles said.
“I don’t want the house of cards to come crashing down.”
Myles said after a lot of soul searching he wanted to reach out to the global community to, “tell our story and share our son with the world.”
Myles decided to create a fundraising video, and post it on the crowdsourcing website youcaring.com.
So far the campaign has raised $10,000, with a goal of raising $65,000 to fund one year of ongoing care for Kyram.
“It was a big step but I think it was an important one, and it was the right time to do it.”
So far, people from East India, the United States and Canada have come forward with donations.
Kyram needs 24 hour care, as Myles says that he has stopped breathing in his sleep and needs a nurse to constantly monitor him at night.
Myles said in the last year Kyram, “has taken off like a little rocket,” in terms of development, in large part thanks to his education at St. Luke’s.
He spends one hour a day with well kids his own age in his Grade 2 class along with a one on one worker, allowing him to socialize and interact with kids his own age.
The rest of the day Kyram is in the school’s resource room where he has a one-on-one worker.
He also receives special therapies and language training as well.
“It’s a wonderful, inclusive and integrated school where it’s just as common to see somebody walk down the hall on feet, in a wheel chair or on a walker,” Myles said.
“You’ve heard of kids being colour blind, well kids are disability blind in that school, they just see people for who they are not what they can or can’t do physically.”
In addition to the fundraising campaign, Myles said he is also working with his local MPP and the provincial government to find a long-term solution to the issue, and he knows he is not alone.
“It’s a very difficult, wide, deep, complex problem to solve, and Ontario families of special needs kids are really going to need to put their brains together to help the government figure out where to go from here,” Myles said.
“I want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”
To donate to Kyram’s campaign, you can click here.