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Seeking support to relieve the pain

By: Dave Baxter

Posted: 09/15/2017 8:45 AM

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Dana Voth is seen in her Blumenort home with her mother Bertha. A pie and soup fundraiser on Sept. 16 will see money raised to help Dana travel to Germany for back surgery, as she looks to get relief from the pain of a herniated disc and degenerative disc disease.

DAVE BAXTER | THE CARILLON Enlarge Image

Dana Voth is seen in her Blumenort home with her mother Bertha. A pie and soup fundraiser on Sept. 16 will see money raised to help Dana travel to Germany for back surgery, as she looks to get relief from the pain of a herniated disc and degenerative disc disease.

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A Blumenort family is hoping the local community will come out and show their love and support, so that Dana Voth can finally get back to living a normal life, after so many months of living in pain.

"My life has been completely turned upside down by this," 21-year-old Dana Voth of Blumenort said. "I went from working full-time, having a normal social life and having goals, to having to literally put my life and everything on hold, because now I just can’t do anything."

In the early morning hours of Oct. 2, 2016 Voth suddenly woke up with back pain so severe that she could not walk.

She went for an examination, and was diagnosed with a herniated disc and degenerative disc disease.

Now almost a year after the diagnosis, the pain has been something she has been forced to deal with every day, and something that has made it impossible to live the life she wants to live.

"The pain is always there, it never goes away," Voth said. "On a day-to-day basis the pain is high and there are some days when it’s extreme, but it is always there."

Because the disc is pressing against Voth’s spinal cord, it causes constant intense pain in her back and down her legs, as well as numbness and tingling in her legs.

The disc is also herniated to the extent that it is causing excessive curvature to her spine.

The situation got so bad that it forced Voth to quit her job as an assistant manager at a local fashion retailer, and spend much of her time lying down as a way to deal with the pain.

"Day to day I do a lot of lying down," she said. "Lying down is the position where it hurts the least and then if there is a day I’m forced to do more walking or standing it takes a toll, and I know the next day or few days are going to be really bad."

Along with dealing with her back issues and the constant pain, Voth is also working to plan her own wedding, as her and her fiancé are set to walk down the aisle in October of this year.

Different treatments such as physiotherapy and exercises have offered no relief, so Voth is now preparing to head to Germany to undergo a major back surgery procedure.

The surgery would see doctors completely remove the damaged disc and replace it with a titanium disc that she said would work for the rest of her life, and relieve the pain and suffering.

The doctors who would do the surgery met with Voth and her family in Manitoba in May, and she said that meeting was the first "ray of hope" she has felt after many months of frustration and wondering if the pain would ever end.

"Meeting with them finally gave me that ray of hope that I could finally get my life back and just do the normal things that I want to be doing as a 21-year-old," Voth said.

Voth plans to travel to Germany for the surgery in November of this year, but that trip and surgery will come with a hefty price tag, as the Voth family said they expect it to cost about $50,000.

The cost for the surgery alone is expected to be approximately $42,000, and there will be travel costs on top of that, so the family is now working to raise money to help Voth get to Germany and get the surgery.

A soup and pie Fundraiser will take place Sept. 16 at the Pat Porter Active Living Centre at 10 Chrysler Gate in Steinbach to support Voth and her family, as they look to raise $50,000 towards the cost of the surgery and travel.

The event will feature supper at 5:30 p.m. and there will be a live auction and a silent auction, with all money going towards helping Voth pay those travel and medical bills.

She said she plans to get the surgery this November whether or not they get to their fundraising goal of $50,000, but she does not want to see her and her family go into serious debt once she gets back.

Along with the Soup and Pie fundraiser the family has also set up other ways to support Voth as she works to get to Germany for surgery.

Donations are now being accepted at any SCU branch, and cheques can also be written out to Dana Voth Back Surgery Fund, mailing address: Box 376, Blumenort, MB, R0A 0C0. eTransfers are also being accepeted at corbervoth@gmail.com, and a GoFundMe page (gofundme.com/dana-voth-back-surgery) has also been set up where people can donate.

More informtiona on the fundraiser and ways people or businesses can donate and support can be found by contacting Ben and Susan Nickel at 204-371-4895, or via email at suenickel13@gmail.com.

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