An Abbotsford family is among those who have benefited from Variety – The Children’s Charity, which holds its annual telethon on Sunday, Feb. 12.
Thea Kettering, 5, was diagnosed with a rare condition called mosaic Down syndrome, which means she has some some cells that are normal (46 chromosomes) and some cells that have trisomy 21 (47 chromosomes).
This compares to Down syndrome, which means all cells have trisomy 21.
She developed like a typical child, until the age of three, when her development began to slow down compared to her peers.
Thea had difficulty putting together works and became frustrated when she couldn’t express herself.
She required speech therapy, but her parents, Mark and Andrea, became concerned when their medical benefits began to run out, and they didn’t know whether they could afford ongoing therapy.
Variety stepped in and provided funding for a year, and Thea has not gone one week without speech therapy since she needed help.
Thea now speaks in sentences, can pronounce her “L” and “TH” sounds and continues to progress. She is now in kindergarten and loves it, her mom says.
“Without Variety’s help in funding her speech therapy, Thea would be nowhere near as confident or have progressed as far as she has now,” Andrea said.
“Hopefully, with Variety’s continued support, Thea will be able to excel in school and overcome her obstacles that were given to her.”
The Variety Show of Hearts Telethon will be broadcast live from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 12 from the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam. Full coverage will be provided on Global News BC.
Visit variety.bc.ca for more information.