The Province

14-YEAR-OLD GIRL PAYS IT FORWARD

Raises money for Royal Columbian Hospital after undergoing 10 surgeries

- BY KENT SPENCER STAFF REPORTER

Staff at the Royal Columbian Hospital have received a big gift from a little lady.

Miranda Tymoschuk, 14, delivered a jar full of cash Friday as part of a fundraisin­g effort that has netted the hospital’s charitable foundation a total of $2,832.

Miranda figures she owes them that much — and more.

She’s getting taller all the time, thanks to a total of 10 rounds of surgery to a left leg that was seven centimetre­s shorter than her right.

Miranda, who was born with a condition called posteromed­ial bowing, has been in and out of the hospital for seven years while undergoing the leg-lengthenin­g procedures.

“ It’s been a long time, but here we are, the last surgery,” said mom Tamara Tymoschuk, whose husband, and Miranda’s father, passed away almost 10 years ago.

A lot of pain was involved, but it doesn’t seem to have daunted the plucky teen’s spirit.

“When I first put the frame on, I could feel the bones smash together. It was so weird,” Miranda said.

The apparatus and accompanyi­ng operations, first devised by a Russian doctor during the Second World War, involve repeatedly breaking a patient’s bone and then using the body’s natural ability to fuse the ends back together so the limb is longer. A metal frame and pins are used to assist the process.

Miranda and her friend McKenzie delivered the donation as a way of saying thanks to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Shafique Pirani and hospital social worker Cheri King.

The nurturing teen has been fundraisin­g for two years through bake sales and bottle drives and by soliciting individual contributi­ons.

“I had to get up early to bake, but I didn’t mind. I enjoyed it,” she said. “If somebody helps you, you help somebody else.”

The funds will go into an account called Pay It Forward, the essence of which is to do favours for others after they have been done for you, with a special emphasis on helping families faced with the expense of travelling and being with a child during hospital stays.

The term was coined in an inspiratio­nal 2000 American movie of the same name, in which a boy launches a ripple goodwill effect based on doing things for people.

“Miranda’s always been this type of kid,” said her mother.

“ Her Grade 5 teacher was asking me why she wasn’t hanging out with her peers, rather than hanging out with disadvanta­ged kids. That’s what she does.” “She’s an inspiratio­n,” said King. King said the money will be used well, for things such as gas for sin- gle mothers and long-distance calls. Recently, the fund provided a flight ticket home for an out-of-province patient who couldn’t afford one. Fortyone families have been helped.

Miranda’s mother was allowed to stay overnight in a cot close to her child.

“It made it a lot easier having mom here. I didn’t have to be by myself,” said Miranda.

With her sense of duty satisfied for the moment, Miranda can get on with the life of a Grade 9 student at Thomas Haney in Maple Ridge.

“ Everyone at the hospital is so amazing. They have been so helpful to us. I’m really thankful,” she said.

People wanting to contribute can contact the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation at www.rchfoundat­ion.com. Donations to the Pay It Forward fund should be earmarked in the comment section. kspencer@theprovinc­e.com

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 ?? JASON PAYNE — PNG ?? Social worker Cheri King gets a hug Friday from 14-year-old Miranda Tymoschuk at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminste­r.
JASON PAYNE — PNG Social worker Cheri King gets a hug Friday from 14-year-old Miranda Tymoschuk at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminste­r.

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