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Anonymous benefactor flies Jeneece Edroff to Mayo Clinic on private jet

Nov 06 2012
Jeneece Edroff, 18, helped raise more than $1.4M for kids in B.C. and faces an operation that may leave her unable to walk. 

Jeneece Edroff, 18, 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

Jeneece Edroff flew to Minnesota on a private jet Sunday after a rich benefactor pulled a few strings to get her into the Mayo Clinic earlier than expected.

The Victoria teen, who has raised more than $1 million for children’s charities, was scheduled to visit the clinic in January to get a second opinion on her failing health.

But a man who wishes to remain anonymous saw her story on national television and decided to help out, Angie Edroff, Jeneece’s mom, said in a telephone interview from Rochester, Minnesota.    

“He had to pick up his relatives [in Victoria] anyway to take them to the Mayo Clinic, and he thought, ‘This is a no-brainer. I’m already flying to Victoria to pick up family to take them there. I might as well take Jeneece and her family there, too.’ So he was very instrumental in getting them to change the dates to match.

“I was gobsmacked. I couldn’t believe that he was able to make those kinds of connections. He managed to get Jeneece [to see] basically the heads of all the departments. So we have the best looking at her.”

Jeneece, 18, suffers from neurofibromatosis that causes tumours to grow along nerve pathways. She is slated to see a neurosurgeon, orthopedic surgeon and genetics specialist at the Mayo Clinic today.

“The goal of this visit is to, number one, find out if Jeneece needs emergency surgery on the tumour on her leg, and we want a second opinion on her spine and some idea around clinical drug therapy to keep her tumours from growing,” Angie Edroff said.

The family expects to fly back to Victoria on Friday.

A recipient of the Order of B.C., Edroff 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 stay while their children receive treatment.

With a file from Katherine Dedyna

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