Variety makes a difference to Aldergrove families

There is a lovely little girl who lives in Aldergrove who has been helped by Variety - The Children's Charity.

There is a lovely little girl who lives in Aldergrove who has been helped by Variety – The Children’s Charity.

Five year old Ola Maksymiuk was born with Down syndrome but is otherwise healthy. She lives with her mom and dad and older sister Poppy in Aldergrove.

Funding from Variety – The Children’s Charity allowed Ola to have specialized one on one speech therapy through the Down Syndrome Research Foundation. Without this funding it would not have been financially feasible, and they want other families to know that Variety is there to help.

Ola’s mother Leanna says that Ola’s “speech has improved greatly since receiving her funded therapy, but one thing that happened was she said ‘Mum help shoes’ to me, and I cried because finally at four years old I feel like I got to have a conversation with my daughter. Not being able to ‘talk’ to her has being a trying experience for both of us, but thankfully that is improving!”

Ola wears glasses and AFO braces on her feet, has had ear tubes put in twice for fluid but besides a multitude of colds and sinus infection in the winter she has been relatively healthy. They work constantly at speech therapy and are working on toilet training, and learning that other foods besides chicken noodle soup and cheese are delicious.

At first Leanna was embarrassed to ask for help, and thought that they weren’t “bad off” enough to get help for Ola.

Leanna is currently working on a movement for kids called the Awesome Advocates that teaches kids what it means to be an advocate for themselves and others.

Over the past 50 years Variety has raised over $189 million that stayed right in B.C. with Variety stepping in where health care ends.

A celebration of epic proportions is coming to Vancouver February 13 and 14 when the curtains rise for the 50th annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon on Global BC.

The show will broadcast live from The Theatre at the Hard Rock Casino, located in Coquitlam, reuniting kids, performers, and hosts in a tribute to Variety’s illustrious past, as well as introducing the new stories and ideas shaping Variety’s future.

In a salute to its entertainment roots, Variety is introducing a second stage at The Centre at 777 Homer Street in downtown Vancouver. Hosted by Erin Cebula of ET Canada, the two shows promise fun for fans of all ages with an eclectic ensemble of Canadian artists.