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DJs, David Suzuki and Pain Relief Medicare Doesn't Cover

It's hard enough to party with a hangover, but a little grogginess can't hold a glowstick to Pamela Finnie's pain. The 23-year-old University of Alberta - Edmonton student has a rare tumor in her jaw called an ameloblastoma, which although benign could cause facial deformities if it's not removed. Finnie's family, including the Yared clan here in Toronto, have solicited Mt. Sinai Hospital's Dr. George Sandor to perform the surgery, which together with other costs -- tooth implants, Finnie's lost wages during recovery time, Edmonton-Toronto flights and a bone graft from her hip -- add up to an estimated $20,000 or more. Only the surgery ($3400) is covered by Alberta's health plan, while the rest of it, considered dental and cosmetic and thus not covered, sticks Finnie's family with the bill.

To pitch in, Finnie's cousin, publicist Jessica Yared, has organized "Scene Therapy", a night of dance music to benefit Finnie's cost, with a smattering of DJs spinning house, breaks, minimal techno and other upbeat, er, beats. And there's one more prominent ally in the family's corner. (More after the jump.)

Even if the crowds attend and donate in hordes, Yared says in her media release, the unfortunate reality is that "it will only make a small dent in helping foot the bill for surgery and other related costs ... the hip graft [transfer of bone from hip to jaw] and processing, as well as the tooth implants, which are considered dental in nature, are covered by neither the Alberta nor the Ontario government health care system."

However, Finnie and Dr. Sandor are allowing a camera crew from David Suzuki's The Nature of Things to tape the operation, hoping to "put pressure on the government to cover costs for future patients with ameloblastomas.

Yared notes: "Finnie is no stranger to hospitals and serious illness [link]. At the age of 10 she was diagnosed with Leukemia and experienced three harrowing years of chemotherapy treatment. Unfortunately, that doesn't make the upcoming surgery any less frightening. She will have to undergo a bone-graft from her hip, the removal and reconstruction of part of her jaw using a metal plate, and tooth implants after her jaw has recovered. A nerve will be severed which will result in partial paralysis of her face."

Wow. Worth 10 bucks of support cash apiece, don't you think? That donation gets you 45 minutes of the best beats from each of the following DJs, all well-favoured among local dance music fans:

Mike Gleeson (house), Red Turtle (breaks), Hali (tech-house), Sarah Mixington ("groovy sexy techno"), Mike D (scroll halfway down; minimal techno, or Christian rap/death metal if you believe his sillyheaded Myspace), Caz (breaks), Mat Lunnen (house) and Lady Linzee (hard house)

And if you can donate but don't care to attend, Finnie's aunt, Irene Yared, has set up a trust fund at TD Canada Trust to receive donations. Jessica Yared: "Anybody wishing to donate can do so at their local branch, or over the Web. The branch number is 0252 and the account number is 6279046."

Scene Therapy
at Footwork Bar, 425 Adelaide St. W. (entrance off Brant St.),
(416) 913-3488
Thursday, March 8
Music begins at 9PM, set times here.
$10, all proceeds to Pamela Finnie & family


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