Jason Monas shares a beautiful moment

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room on September 18, 2016 when 28-year-old Alanna Monas and her father, Jason Monas, surprised her wedding guests with a beautifully choreographed dance to the band's rendition of Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight."

Jason, a healthy gym-goer and active cyclist, was diagnosed in July 2016 with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP), a rare neurological disorder caused by damage to the covering of the nerves (myelin). Left untreated, 30 per cent of CIDP patients will progress to wheelchair dependence. Early recognition and proper treatment can avoid a significant amount of disability.

On July 25, with no function or mobility in his arms or legs, Jason was admitted to Toronto Rehab’s Brain & Spinal Cord Rehab program at Lyndhurst Centre.

Throughout August and September, Jason worked extensively with an interdisciplinary team of professionals including nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy to strengthen his muscles, regain independence and increase his mobility.

But perhaps Jason's biggest motivation was his daughter Alanna's wedding.

He found a way to dance but didn’t give up his on his goal to walk.

"We worked on a lot of strengthening and stretching,” says Anne Hu, Jason's Physiotherapist at Lyndhurst. ”It was important that Jason re-learn to walk properly, without forming bad habits or dependency on a certain leg. We wanted to get him walking slowly and safely so that long-term he will have a smooth and strong step."

Today, Jason is back on his feet and walking with an assisted device, and working towards his next goal to get back on his bike.

"I really can't believe how fortunate I am," says Jason. "I took my health for granted before and now I have a true appreciation for how fragile we all are. I have a totally different outlook."

Read more at UHN.ca

Video: Video Productions by Josh
Photo: The Photo Studio
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