Telethon a big boon for Cowichan Valley family

The Variety Telethon Show of Hearts will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year Feb. 13 and 14.

The Variety Telethon Show of Hearts will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year Feb. 13 and 14.

It’s a continuation of the valuable work Variety does in communities around the province and right here at home.

Sherry and Dana Edwards of Duncan are grateful for what Variety has done for them. Their 16-year-old son Dean collapsed two years ago and had to be rushed to hospital.

After spending a month at Victoria General Hospital Dean was transferred to the B.C. Children’s Hospital (BCCH) where emergency measures were taken to help him breathe. Dean’s twin sister Deanna is very close to him and was able to communicate to doctors how he felt. The family said she was the one who complained of being unable to breathe when Dean was getting the trachea surgery to help him breathe. Dean was given a possible diagnosis of a rare and serious autoimmune disease called ADEM (Acute Disseminated Enchephalomyelitis) which is a widespread attack and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord possibly caused by a virus.

Dean is at home in Duncan now but is non-verbal, with limited mobility. He receives 24-hour care and needs constant support. Although his legs occasionally have slight movement and some movement is returning to his arms and hands, the condition remains serious. His family is grateful for Variety’s help in covering travel and accommodation costs while he was at BCCH.

This year’s telethon includes two live shows from the satellite stage hosted by ET Canada’s Erin Cebula, as well as the telethon itself broadcast live from the Hard Rock Theatre in Coquitlam, B.C. where phone banks will be running and families will share how Variety helped them.

Variety has raised more than $189 million to help children with special needs and health care crises, stepping in and helping out where regular health care coverage ends.

To find out more about the Variety Telethon visit or call Variety toll-free at 310-KIDS (5437).

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