South Asian “Miracle Child” Gives Back To Children’s Charity Through Fundraising

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“We waited two years for Kaden to be assessed for autism,” remembers his mom Salima. “He has all the symptoms. But because he is so social, it was determined that he only has a developmental condition and we don’t qualify for government support.” Then Salima contacted Variety, and everything changed. And now Kaden’s family is giving back. This year, Kaden is one of 13 children participating in the Variety Kids Coin Drive.

BURNABY – When children are diagnosed as having special needs, the situation is usually clear and services are provided to help give each child a chance to succeed to the best of his or her ability. But what if your child falls in an “in-between” category?

“We waited two years for Kaden to be assessed for autism,” remembers his mom Salima. “He has all the symptoms. But because he is so social, it was determined that he only has a developmental condition and we don’t qualify for government support.”

Born full-term by Caesarean delivery, Salima knew at once that something wasn’t right with Kaden. He was whisked by helicopter from hospital in Nanaimo to Vancouver, where paediatric doctors deliberated on performing heart surgery to close a valve. Luckily, medication corrected the problem in four days, and the nurses named him their Miracle Child.

But things progressed slowly in the years that followed. Kaden was a late walker, and needed speech therapy to help him talk. “He said his first word when he was 2 ½,” says Salima. “It was ‘mom’. I never thought I would hear him speak and I cried.”

The family decided to move from Nanaimo to the Lower Mainland to be closer to Kaden’s doctors and therapists. They sold their house and worked hard to build a new family business in Surrey. But the bills kept adding up and Salima feared the worst, “It was a really tough situation. Kaden needs constant therapy. He’s one of those children who could easily fall through the cracks.”

Then Salima contacted Variety, and everything changed. “I will never forget what Variety did for us. They really helped us out financially. It was a huge deal and it really gave me strength. Now we want to do what we can to help.”

And the family is giving back. This year, Kaden is one of 13 children participating in the Variety Kids Coin Drive.

From now until October 31st, 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. 2012 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 funding 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.

“Variety is really important because unless you have a child who has special needs, you cannot understand what it’s like. Variety is completely understanding. They help to cover all the ‘grey areas’ and give these kids the same chances as everybody else.”

If your business would like to support the Coin Drive, please contact Andrew Forshner, Senior Campaign Coordinator, at Variety BC: [email protected]  or 604-320-0505 ext. 243