With four healthy children at home on the family’s large Comox Valley dairy farm, Jay had no concerns about finding room for baby No. 5.
But the worrying began when complications during her pregnancy resulted in an emergency trip to B.C. Women’s Hospital.
Baby Max came into the world prematurely — his organs were not fully developed and he needed surgery to correct a heart murmur.
Jay recalls, “We knew at the time that our lives were never going to be the same.”
It was four months before she could finally bring Max home, and another five months before doctors were able to confirm a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
The family struggled to come to terms with the situation, because like many others who have a child who has special needs, they felt unprepared for the challenges that lay ahead.
But help wasn’t far away.
Max’s physiotherapist at the Comox Valley Child Development Centre suggested they contact Variety – The Children’s Charity.
“Variety paid for our van conversion,” says Jay. “This is something that is extremely expensive and would have been difficult for us to afford. But it allows me to manoeuvre his heavy wheelchair easily, and gives us the freedom to go anywhere together as a family.”
Max is very proud to be a Variety kid, and for the past three years has done what he can to give back. This fall he’ll again be one of 13 kids championing a provincewide fundraising campaign to help children who have special needs in BC.
From now until Oct. 31, IGA stores, Marketplace IGA locations and Bank of Montreal branches across the province will display the iconic coin boxes featuring Heartley, a great big smiling heart, and ask customers to support Variety by donating loose change.
This year marks the 10th Coin Drive, one of Variety’s most successful fundraisers, that has brought in over $1.5 million since its inception.
Proceeds from the Coin Drive will go towards helping children who have special needs and their families with grants for things like emergency transportation costs to out-of-community hospitals, expensive medications, mobility and communication devices, and therapeutic programs to give them the same chances in life as other children
If you, your family or your business would like to support the Coin Drive, contact senior campaign co-ordinator Andrew Forshner at Andrew.Forshner@variety.bc.ca or 604-320-0505, ext. 243. Variety can provide a full package of materials including coin boxes and posters.
— Variety – The Children’s Charity