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Jeneece Edroff travelling to U.S. for second opinion on surgery

Oct 26 2012
Jeneece Edroff, with her mom Angie and dad Denis, helped raise more than $1.4M for kids in B.C. and faces an operation that may leave her unable to walk. 

Jeneece Edroff, with her mom Angie and dad Denis, helped raise more than $1.4M for kids in B.C. and faces an operation that may leave her unable to walk.

Photograph by: Adrian Lam , Times Colonist

A Victoria teen who has raised more than $1 million for children’s charities will travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in January to find out whether her deteriorating health can be helped by an innovative operation.

Jeneece Edroff, 18, has neurofibromatosis, a disorder that causes tumours to grow along nerve pathways.

Tests have shown new tumours growing on her spine and leg, but doctors in B.C. told her that an operation could leave her unable to walk.

The family asked for Jeneece to be assessed at the Mayo Clinic, where there is a special neurofibromatosis clinic, but ran up against the province’s policy not to pay for out-of-province surgeries or second opinions available at home.

However, a community fundraiser has brought in more than $100,000, and it appears as if the province may now be willing to fund the treatment, said Denis Edroff, Jeneece’s father.

“This will start as a second opinion … and then, what they will probably do is tell us what they find in regards to her spine and if she needs surgery,” he said.

If doctors at the Mayo Clinic decide an operation is needed, it will likely be done shortly after the assessment, Denis said.

“We are trying to get an earlier appointment because her leg is giving her a lot of trouble now. The pain is getting worse and [the tumour] is growing bigger,” he said.

Edroff, a recipient of the Order of B.C., started a penny drive at the age of seven — four years after her diagnosis — and raised more than $1 million in seven years. The money was used to build Jeneece Place at Victoria General Hospital, where out-of-town parents to stay while their children are receiving treatment.

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