Jeremy Corfe is an 18-year-old Aldergrove resident who was born with spina bifida.
He gets around on a power wheelchair, which his step-mom, Corrie, said was a long, paperwork-entrenched process to purchase.
“He’s a D.W. Poppy student and had a seizure in the summer of 2019, which complicated things,” she explained.
Coming from a blended-family of six, Corfe is the youngest, but is notably large for his age.
At six-foot-four, his shoulders were wearing out and his self-propelled wheelchair was becoming problematic and unsafe.
A $16,000 price tag for the new, upgraded chair was too much for the family to cover.
“It’s astronomically expensive,” Corrie commented. “It’s more than my car.”
Government funding ultimately covered half, but the Corfe family still needed help to secure the new chair.
Corrie said the occupational therapist at D.W. Poppy recommended Variety, a program that assists families with care for children with special needs .
Though COVID-19 stalled funding applications and slowed down communication with team members working from home, Variety decided to help the Corfe family.
“Jeremy was aging out of the program, but because of special circumstances, they put him through,” she noted.
Funding from Variety, plus money from B.C. Shriners, paid off the new chair in full.
It was delivered in October – complete with headlights, four-way flashers, and a horn.
“The wheelchair is so heavy, all of our floors had to be changed,” Corrie said. “He has to be a good driver or else our poor dog would be toast.”
She was quick to thank D.W. Poppy for their support over the years as well as Variety.
“Everyone is awesome and Variety even did a story,” she said. “We had accessed them before. They’re the reason Jeremy got the first chair.”
Corfe’s story has been shared by Variety on numerous occasions, and will be touched-on again this weekend at the 55th Annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon, which airs on Global BC, Saturday, Feb. 20 from 1 to 5:30 p.m.
The three-day event officially kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 18, with an extended time period introduced to raise more funds for children in need.
“When you have a kid in a chair, everything is a challenge,” Cassie assured.
Last year’s Show of Hearts raised $5,515,238 to benefit children province-wide.
Cally Wesson, CEO of Variety BC, said as the pandemic continues, so does the need for support which is growing every day as more and more families are being affected.
“In addition to lifesaving medical supplies, mobility equipment and specialized therapies, we are seeing an increase in mental wellness counselling and virtual tutoring applications as kids are struggling to cope,” Wesson said. “I’m hoping that British Columbians will, once again, come together to ensure that this year’s fundraiser will be our most successful yet so that we’ll be able to say ‘yes’ to all of B.C.’s kids needing our help, and that no child is turned away.”
This year’s entertainment line-up will feature sixteen-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter David Foster, American Idol alum Pia Toscano, and Canadian rockers, Loverboy.
Donations can be made by calling toll-free at 310-KIDS.
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