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I don’t think I can afford surgery.

If you don’t think your insurance will cover the surgery, and/or your family cannot afford it, here are some possible options:


Shriners Hospitals for Children offer treatment at no cost for children under 18 years of age, regardless of race, religion, or relationship to a Shriner. They are primarily in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, but there are procedures for overseas applications as well. You must download an application or call or write to have one mailed to you. Call the patient referral line at 1-800-237-5055 in the US or 1-800-361-7256 in Canada, or visit for more information.

Children's Miracle Network

Try the Children’s Miracle Network at

Other Resources

For a list of children’s hospitals in the US, visit Many of these hospitals offer some free services and/or financial assistance programs.

You can hold fundraisers to help pay for the treatment if you need to. Asking for contributions from friends and family (in person or through Facebook), holding a bake sale, selling stuff on ebay, whatever works. Get creative if you have to.

For more resources, you can try talking to the nurse or health clerk at school. Some cities, counties, or states have programs to offer low-cost or no-cost medical coverage to uninsured children. Whatever clinic or hospital you go to for regular care should be able to provide you with some contacts as well.

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I think my insurance will cover the cost of the surgery itself. What other costs should I expect?

  • prescriptions (depending on your insurance)
  • undershirts and bigger clothes (if you have a brace)
  • new clothes (if you are significantly taller)
  • foam pad for mattress (optional)
  • anything you need for making your house accessible, such as extra pillows, a bean bag chair, or a bench for the shower
  • small backpack or tote bag for school -- maybe consider a wheeled backpack: my campus is way too crowded for one to work, but it would have been really nice

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