Langley City’s Violet Flannigan wasn’t too excited about taking part in the Variety Show of Hearts telethon until she saw herself on television.
“Oh my gosh,” the delighted Violet exclaimed.
It was an look-ahead about the 55th annual version of the telethon, which will run from Thursday, Feb. 18 to Saturday, 20 on the Global BC.
Until that moment, “she didn’t really get what’s going on,” mom Candice Welch told the Langley Advance Times.
When the telethon gets underway, Violet, who just turned four on Feb. 4, will be watching the event with her family, especially around the half-way mark, which is when she is due to appear.
Violet was diagnosed at the age of two with myopathy, a condition that causes muscle weakness and, in her case, scoliosis.
Variety has provided her with custom orthotics and more recently, a pink and purple wheelchair – her favourite colours – with wheels that light up.
Her mom described her daughter as a confident, articulate kid, with attitude.
“She’s very sassy,” Candice told the Langley Advance Times.
Violet has an artistic side and loves drawing and painting.
“She’s obsessed with unicorns,” Candice explained, which is why so many of Violet’s outfits and accessories feature the fabled animals.
As the second-youngest of five children, and the only girl, Violet is used to being the centre of attention, mom Candice described.
A few years ago, her older brother Thaddeus, who has the same condition, was featured by the telethon and he was the subject of a feature article that described how Variety assistance helped him get stronger and more mobile, allowing him to play wheelchair basketball, sledge hockey, and racing.
Variety BC was founded in 1966, the year of the very first Variety Show of Hearts telethon that raised $67,000 for special needs kids across BC.
Last year, the event raised an astonishing $5.5 million, a figure Variety CEO Cally West described as “astonishing.”
“What I’m most proud of is the visibility the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon has brought to special needs,” West said.
“Not only do we want to support special needs kids and their families, we want British Columbians to understand the everyday challenges they face and the lack of support traditional health care provides to them,” West added.
Donations can be made online at the variety.bc.ca website.
Every contribution made to the Variety Show of Hearts between now and February 20 will be matched dollar for dollar up to $510,000.
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