Written by Jeff Meyer on 26 Sep 2015
A Tampa, Florida annual golf outing has once again raised money on behalf of United Cerebral Palsy, while offering one hundred golfers the chance to compete for a cause. The Dr. Dick Gunderman Charity Golf Classic, which just finished its thirty-third annual outing, started initially with a small field of only twenty-four golfers. To date, the outing and the associated charitable contributions by players, sponsors, and other donors have helped raise nearly one million dollars for youth cerebral palsy patients over the years.
At this year’s tournament, which was held at Cheval in Tampa, Gunderman noted his personal attachment to the cause, as he himself regularly treats childhood patients with disabilities. Of many childhood maladies, cerebral palsy patients face inordinately high costs associated with the maintenance of their chronic genetic conditions. The chronic nature of cerebral palsy, which features constant threats of lung infections, requires frequent medical care, and oftentimes, requires special medical breathing devices and surgical procedures, is a large financial burden for any family, even those with insurance. To Gunderman, for these reasons, United Cerebral Palsy is the perfect candidate institution for funds raised in his outings, as over eighty-five percent of monies raised is directed by the charity to young cerebral palsy patients and their families, which is an anomaly in the philanthropic world, where administrative costs frequently run high.
While there are variegated causes of cerebral palsy, one of the most commonly associated with the condition is the premature or complicated birth of a child, which from the outset, places financial strain upon families. Estimates from experts in cerebral palsy treatment state that the average lifetime costs, which include most patients being covered under some form of disability insurance, at a median figure stand at nearly one million dollars. Of these lifetime costs of cerebral palsy, maintaining the health of a child with cerebral palsy necessarily oftentimes includes the following, including:
- Significant and ongoing medical expenses well in excess of the majority of other chronic conditions, including items such as breathing devices, physical therapy equipment, mobility equipment, a litany of prescription medications, surgical procedures, and an ongoing schedule of specialist visits, some requiring travel for the patient and families
- Special educational services, including speech pathology, developmental assistance, and oftentimes, assisted living arrangements as well
- Ongoing treatment for co-occurring problems associated with cerebral palsy, including vision and hearing difficulties, as well as motor skills development programs
For more information on cerebral palsy in childhood, including the options for obtaining assistance from government programs and other charitable organizations such as United Cerebral Palsy, consult one or of the references below.