Kelowna kids benefit from Variety telethon
Organizers are hoping Kelowna residents will join others from B.C. by watching and donating to the 47th annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon this weekend.
In return, Variety - The Children's Charity will ensure children with special needs across the province have a bright future.
Eight-year-old Robin Laing and her mother, Stacey, from Kelowna have seen how Variety can help.
Robin was born with mild cerebral palsy.
"It's very functioning, but she's right-side affected," said Stacey.
"Basically she uses an (ankle-foot orthotic) brace on her right leg…she's still able to walk, run, swim and all that kind of stuff."
Stacey knew her daughter needed the brace when she was five, but funding was an issue as the orthotic wasn't covered by BC Health Care.
Robin's physiotherapist suggested Variety may be able to assist with the funding. Eventually, the Laings' application was approved.
"I don't know if people realize the different levels of help they give to all different types of needs—not just extreme cases."
Variety also funded Robin's physiotherapy for a year.
"That helped us out a lot."
Kelowna's Lang family is another that has benefited from Variety.
Ashlyn Lang was born with a liver condition and was required to get a transplant last June. Variety has provided funding for life-sustaining medications and vitamins not covered by the Lang's medical plan.
"She has to have different things that are expensive like liquid Vitamin D—they cover things like that to help us out," said Lisa.
With those costs covered, some pressure has been taken off the Langs and, according to Lisa, Ashlyn is doing "awesome."
"She's pain-free for the first time ever. She's happy and she's growing like a normal child."
Last year the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon raised $6.75 million. That money helped Variety give 1,200 individual grants to children in need from over 150 different cities and towns throughout the province.
This year's telethon can be viewed on Global BC TV Feb. 16 and 17.