Big boost for woman battling chronic pain

  • Aug. 27, 2010 9:22 p.m.

Red Deerian Melanie ten Haaft, who lives daily with chronic pain because of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, is amazed at the community support she witnessed this past weekend during a fundraiser for future treatment.

ten Haaft said a hot dog sale this past weekend at the south Save-On-Foods brought in $2,000.

“The weekend went phenomenally,” said ten Haaft, who shared her story with the Red Deer Express recently. Since its publication the support folks have shown has been tremendous, she said.

It was in the fall of 2008 that ten Haaft tripped over some work boots, fell down some stairs and knew immediately she had seriously injured her left foot. She ran a cleaning business at the time.

Doctors told her that within four to six weeks she should be able to walk on it again. But as the weeks passed, any pressure on her leg caused immense pain. Doctors eventually diagnosed her with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. She has undergone physical therapy and doctors have tried nerve blockage treatments which didn’t help.

But hyperbaric oxygen therapy is something she’s aiming to undergo. She’s currently on the lookout for the province to help cover the treatment which is available in Alberta and B.C.

And with new information being given to her regarding treatment options from others becoming familiar with her story, ten Haaft said she’s “going down every avenue that has been put in front of me.”

Ultimately, if the province doesn’t cover the costs, she could be facing upwards of $20,000 to pay for it, she said. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves the breathing of 100% pure oxygen while in a sealed chamber pressurized to greater than normal atmospheric pressure.

Meanwhile, ten Haaft said over the past few weeks that people have shared their own stories of dealing with both Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and chronic pain in general.

“I got some really good response, and lots of well wishes,” she said. “It was wonderful to see how this community is willing to come out and be supportive.”

Since she decided to go public with her story, she’s also received many responses by phone. Again, people often want to lend their support, sometimes they want to donate and other times they want to offer suggestions for pain relief while ten haaft awaits treatment that hopefully will make a huge difference in how she feels, she said.

For more information about how you can help ten Haaft, call her at 403-505-0736 or email her at As well, watch a video of ten Haaft during last weekend’s fundraising efforts at