L to right: Thaddeus, mom Candice, youngest brother Frankie and Violet The Variety Children’s Charity, funds leg and back braces and the lightweight wheelchairs that Thaddeus and Violet require. Black Press Media photo

How Variety helps two Langley City kids with their disabilities

Charity covers thousands in costs that basic medical plan doesn’t

Violet was amusing herself the way a little sister will, annoying her older brother Thaddeus by pursuing him through the living room, hallway, kitchen and dining room areas of their Langley City home.

Ten-year-old Thaddeus tried to shake off two-year-old Violet, spinning his lightweight wheelchair around corners in a bid to elude Violet.

But the feisty Violet was just as fast in her smaller wheelchair and followed close behind, squealing with delight.

While the impromptu race was underway, younger brothers Jimmy and Darcy sat at the dining room table and played games on a tablet while Frankie, the youngest, watched from his high chair.

Their mom, Candice Welch enforced a speed limit to prevent accidents and removed the occasional plush toy when it became wedged under Violet’s chair.

READ MORE: Dallas Smith to sing at country-themed fundraiser for Variety charity next spring

It was an ordinary afternoon for her family, made possible in part by the support of the Variety Children’s Charity, that funds leg and back braces and the lightweight wheelchairs that Thaddeus and Violet both require.

After Thaddeus, now 10, was first diagnosed with genetic central core myopathy, a condition that causes muscle weakness, his family reached out to the charity for the orthotics and other supplies he needs.

“We knew about them from the telethon,” Candice said.

When Violet, who is now two, was first diagnosed with myopathy, Variety also provided her with various orthotics including braces, standing frames and mobility aids.

Basic health care only provides limited coverage for many of the items the two children require, Candice said.

She estimated the cost of orthotics for Thaddeus at about $6,000 a year, that need to be replaced every year as he outgrows them.

Violet’s braces are about $2,500 a year.

As well, the ultralight wheelchairs like the type Thaddeus and his sister use, cost about $3,000 and are not covered by basic medical, which only pays for bare-bones wheelchairs and requires patients to cover the cost of extras like swivel wheels.

Variety’s assistance helps both kids to have an active life.

These days, the math-loving Thaddeus plays wheelchair basketball and sledge hockey, where he is often the youngest player

He started when he was six, playing against older competitors.

“I was supposed to be eight,” Thaddeus said.

Violet needs very little help maneuvering, but sometimes well-meaning strangers will try to intervene when they see her scooting through a shopping mall or down a sidewalk, Candice says.

“Not many people have seen a child her age in a chair.”

Candice said her daughter always likes to go full-tilt in her chair and will sometimes stop by running into things like walls, and furniture, and people.

“There’s no brake,” Candice says.

This weekend, Variety will hold its biggest fundraising event of the year, the 53rd annual Show of Hearts telethon.

It will air live on Global BC on Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from the Molson Canadian theatre at the Hard Rock casino.

Candice encourages people to support Variety.

“With your help, Variety is able to make the impossible, possible for so many children,” she said.

Donations to the Show of Hearts can be made by calling toll free at 310-KIDS and online at variety.bc.ca or by texting “KIDS” to 45678 to make an automatic $20 contribution.

Viewers can also register now to have their own fundraising page to connect with friends, families and co-workers in support of Variety.

For over 50 years, Variety has distributed more than $30 million in funding to families and organizations in communities across the province.

Last year, the telethon raised $5.5 million.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Two-year-old Violet sometimes unnerves well-meaning strangers by the way she can throw herself around in her chair. Black Press Media photo

Just Posted

VIDEO: Virus Busters assemble to take on COVID-19 germs in Langley

A team of 20 business owners and employees are working to kill viral bacteria in public places

VIDEO: Langley schools transition students to at-home learning

During the next two weeks a new model will be rolled out to parents, pupils of kids in public school

Two Fraser Valley care home workers confirmed to have COVID-19

Health authority has a team at a Langley and a Surrey seniors facilities informing staff, residents

Why is this Langley pedestrian bridge purple?

Cole Harmony Bridge connects pedestrians to either side of 68th Avenue at 200th Street

VIDEO: Langley women makes homemade masks for neighbours amid COVID-19 pandemic

Masks are made of paper towel, elastic bands, and staples

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Most Read