Little Leah Ligertwood has become an international cause celebre - and a poster child for the enormous financial burden medical care can place on families and government health care programs.
The two-year-old Scottish girl has battled crippling cerebral palsy since she was 18 months old, and her parents are convinced she faces a lifetime in a wheelchair unless she undergoes a rare surgical procedure. But Scotland's national health insurance program doesn't want to pay for the surgery - estimated to cost more than $80,000.
The surgery Leah's family wants - selective dorsal rhizotomy - was pioneered by Dr. T. S. Park, a surgeon at St. Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri. Dr. Park has performed more than 2,000 of the procedures. He told CBS News that it can significantly improve a child's mobility and independence.
"All we want is for Leah to walk, run, dance and do all the things other children can do," her mother, Nicola Lowrie, told The Daily Record. "Which parent wouldn't do everything they can to make that happen?"
But Scotland's National Health Service told the Record, "Our clinical staff do not believe it is the success it is promoted to be for every patient."
Leah's parents had to send medical records, scans, and hours of video footage to St. Louis' doctors, to make sure she met the criteria for the procedure.
Without the needed funds, the Ligertwood family launched a Facebook campaign to raise support for Leah.
To date, the Ligertwood family has raised over $75,000 toward Leah's medical bills.
Young Leah is now scheduled to undergo surgery at St. Louis Children's Hospital in August.
She's looking forward to the operation, her mother, Nicola, told CBS News. Just mentioning the word "America" makes Leah shake with excitement that she "won't need her splints anymore," Nicola said.
But Leah's already warned her parents she'll be too fast for them "once she's had her legs fixed."
About 764,000 Americans have cerebral palsy. More than 1 out of every 300 children in the U.S. are born with the neurological disorder.