Support continues for woman fighting pain syndrome

A fundraising raffle to support future treatments for a Red Deerian suffering with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is underway.

Melanie ten Haaft said the raffle runs through the end of September featuring an array of donated items from local businesses. Tickets are $5 each or you can purchase three tickets for $10.

ten Haaft, who shared her story with the Red Deer Express recently earlier this summer, said the support she has received from the community is remarkable.

“The amount of people beside me wanting to see me take a step is lovely,” she said. “That part of this gives me a huge amount of strength.”

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. The clinic she is looking at in B.C. for treatment has utilized the therapy in past cases, so that is reassuring, she said.

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 she has raised about $6,500. Another hot dog/hamburger sale is set for Sept. 11 at Sobeys South from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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.

“I’m hopeful that I will achieve my goals because of the way the community has stepped up to help.”

For more information about how you can help ten Haaft, call her at 403-505-0736 or email her at