LAMBERTVILLE, Michigan (WTVG) - Jenny Johnson-Lindhorst has cerebral palsy. She has always used a walker, but a recent surgery called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) and intense physical therapy are changing that.
Her twin sister Jessie Duslak, who also has cerebral palsy, and her life-long friend Sarah Schwartz, organized a dinner and fundraiser Sunday to pay for Jenny's physical therapy. Her insurance ran out, and treatment costs $1,100 a month.
"Just waking up in the hospital I could instantly tell the difference. Even though I couldn't get out of bed for three days, I could tell the muscles weren't tight, and then on day three they got me out for the first time on my feet. My heels were touching the ground, and they've never done that before," said Johnson-Lindhorst.
"I cant afford the five days a week, but it's crucial to the success of the surgery. It would have been pointless to go through the surgery if I can't have the therapy that's needed," said Johnson-Lindhorst.
"In two years we are hoping that I'll be able to get rid of the walker and go down to forearm crutches, and then inside my home I'll be able to walk independently without anything," said Johnson-Lindhorst.
Hundreds gathered Sunday at AJ Doolittles in Lambertville from noon-6 PM for the silent auction, bake sale, 50/50 raffle, photo booth, and spaghetti dinner. $5,000 was raised.
Just two weeks ago Jenny had a breakthrough at physical therapy.
"I was walking independently with parallel bars without touching it. It needs some work. It doesn't look pretty, but it's a step forward," said Johnson-Lindhorst.
Last week, another breakthrough.
"She's already stood for three minutes all by herself. That's a huge, huge accomplishment," said Schwartz.
Link to GoFundMe for Jenny: https://www.gofundme.com/51qmpvs