Landon Smith - Go the Distance

$94,145 of $110,000 goal

Raised by 157 people in 11 months
Life can change in a split second!  It did for our 18 year old son.   Our son, a vibrant, athletic, tall and handsome young man innocently jumped into a foam pit at a trampoline park on January 7, 2017 and broke his neck and suffered a life altering spinal cord injury. As his mother it has been the hardest thing to witness. I remember counting his toes, fingers and checking every inch of his healthy body when he was born before finally holding him close to me knowing he was perfect. 18 years later, just as he was starting to venture out in to the world on his own with a goal of becoming  a firefighter life changed and he is now considered a quadriplegic.  Shortly after his accident Landon started to explore and research from his hospital bed medical trials and came across one which was being conducted by the University of Miami. The FDA approved trial involves injecting Schwan cells into the injury site. The hope is that the Schwan cells will aid in reconnecting the nerves below the injury site; giving patients back some or much of their mobility.     We are thrilled to report that Landon has been accepted into the trial and will begin baseline testing October 15. As a participant Landon will live in Miami for 10 months.  Although his accommodations will be paid for, his living costs and the cost of a health care aid are not covered.  I have reached out to a health care provider in Miami who has indicated that the cost for a live-in aid will be $250 per day or $95 per hour for a nurse (which he will need two hours per day). Although we plan to stay with him for as long as we can, one or both of us has to work. The goal of this GoFundMe campaign is to shore up Landon’s bank account so he can stay focused and committed to the trial and be taken care of in our absence. The cost just to have an aid could be over $75,000 US. We are an average Canadian Family with a dwindling savings account and no formal pension plan to look forward to so sourcing $100,000+ in a year is impossible and we need your help. Landon has a dream of being on the Ellen show and I can see him dancing down the stairs with her. Participating in this trial is critical and I know Landon's success will help 1000's of others who will then be given the opportunity to have this procedure done immediately following a spinal cord injury.  This will be life changing! If you are able to and are willing, please consider making a donation. Our family wishes to thank you in advance for your support, prayers and donations. The Smith Family Please follow Landon on Instagram at @landonclarksmith 
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Although we arrived at the hospital at 8:00 a.m. this morning the medical team just finished removing 11 cm of a peripheral nerve from the back of his right leg at 3:00 p.m.

Although he will have a scar and the area will be numb, it will have no effect on his motor function. Once healed, Landon will begin 12 weeks of exercise training. While Landon trains, the cells will be grown, multiplied and prepared for his surgery on Feb 5, 2019; just over two years since the date of his accident.

Today feels a bit surreal but it is the beginning of a very exciting journey.

Stay tuned for updates and follow Landon on Instagram at @landonclarksmith.

Grateful for so much

The Smith Family
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So as we come to the end of the first week of testing I wanted to share with you what Landon has endured this week.

He began this week with a repeat of a lot of the testing he did in January. Starting with an AISA exam which requires individuals to give feedback to being touched with a sharp object or dull on specific nerve points. We were thrilled to learn that he has gained more sensation in his left side and has a number of new sensations throughout his body since his last testing. Although this does not mean motor function has improved it is still an improvement.

The AISA test was followed by a MRI of his brain, xray of his lower extremities and strength testing.

The most insightful has been the electrophysiology testing which measures the messages received by the brain when a muscel/nerve is stimulated by a current. Additionally the research team measured the muscle response to currents sent from the brain.

Today is part two of the electrophysiology testing and involves testing the autonomous system which controls things like sweating (nervous system we do not control necessarily). People with a spinal cord injury typically do not sweat so this testing is extremely important to the trial.

Pendulum testing will be done today as well which will measure the muscle activity in his legs.

At the end of the day Landon will receive a customized exercise program which he will do for the next 12 weeks and will meet with a psychologist

Tuesday morning Dr. Levi (a Canadian born Doctor) will perform the surgery on his leg and will harvest a peripheral nerve from his right leg. Schwann Cells will be harvested and processed from the nerve and prepared for his surgery in February.
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A week ago Landon and Michael joined us in Miami and this week Brian and I are taking a much needed break.

Not only is the break necessary for our own mental health, but it also gives Michael and Landon a taste of what it will be like when we leave at the end of the month.

Many friends and family have contacted us this week to ask if we are safe. Although the rain has been incredible, and humidity high we are all safe and miles away from the hurricane which is hitting the North Eastern part of the State.

We are excited to start the testing next week and Landon will be doing an update shortly on his Instagram.

We will also be looking for an aid to support Landon, and will ask the project coordinator for referrals.
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Landon and his good friend Michael Carpenter landed in Miami on Wednesday. Although exhausted, they were eager to see their new "digs" and were even happier to leave the cold weather behind.

Landon will spend a week getting acclimatized to Miami before he begins baseline testing on Oct 15.

It will be a full week of testing which includes brain mapping, spasticity testing metabolic and pain testing and a whole lot more. His days will start at 9:00 and end at 3:00 which means he has to be up around 5:30 a.m. to get his day going. I will never complain about the time it takes me to get ready in the morning after baring witness to what Landon has to endure every single day.

Establishing a "home base" for Landon has taken a great deal of time and effort not to mention funding.

Thank you again for supporting Landon and our Family. I look forward to sending updates from Miami.

The Smiths
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$94,145 of $110,000 goal

Raised by 157 people in 11 months
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