Skip to main content

Alberta family raising money to buy robotic legs for daughter with Cerebral Palsy

A De Winton family is raising money to give their six-year-old daughter the ability to walk. 

A lack of oxygen at birth left Claire Sonnenberg with severe Cerebral Palsy, which impacts her muscle function. She's spent the first part of her life in her parents' arms and in wheelchairs. 

But that all changed this summer, when Claire's family was introduced to Trexo. That's a robotic computer system which hooks on to her walker and allows her to move about independently. 

"Those first steps are every mom's dream," Stephanie Sonnenberg told CTV News. "It means the world to me walking around and holding her hands. It's something that I never thought I'd have."

But that feeling -- so soon after it was first experienced -- is now at risk. 

Trexo isn't covered by their insurance provider, and the out-of-pocket costs are hefty. 

Currently, the Sonnenbergs rent the technology. They want to own it. 

"So we're trying to raise $44, 000," Sonnenberg said. "The legs cost as much as a mid-size SUV."

The family is currently just over a quarter of the way to its goal. They've launched a GoFundMe page to help out even more. 

"We're just trying to reach out to the community to shed light on what this could mean for a little girl," Sonnenberg said. "There are so many things she can't do, but she deserves to walk. Everyone deserves to have this moment and we really want it for her so we'll do everything we can."

Claire's dad Nathan Sonnenberg says seeing his daughter use the Trexo system is reason enough to get involved. 

"When she gets in, it gives her a sense of being and accomplishment," he said. "You can tell she has pride in walking. She's very excited and proud of herself that she's doing it, and that means the world to me."

A recent first day of school drove that point home for Claire's mom. 

"It was grade one and she walked in on her first day just like everybody else right up to her desk," she said. "She smiles and laughs and looks around and sees everybody that's the same height as her. She just loves it."

To learn more about the Sonnenberg family, visit Claire's Instagram page. Top Stories

Stay Connected