Variety of Buffalo & Western NY

The 2016 Variety Kids Telethon Celebrity Child was Ashton Ross Smith, 6, of Salamanca, NY. Each year, Variety of Buffalo & Western New York selects a Celebrity Child to represent the hundreds of thousands of children facing illness, disability, and disadvantage that Variety helps throughout Western New York by supporting Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and other children’s charities.

Ashton was born healthy and strong, but just six weeks into his life, he became seriously ill with Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which led to pneumonia. For six and a half days, Ashton wavered between life and death at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. But he held on and was gradually taken off life support and able to go back home to his family, thanks to the outstanding care he received from WCHOB.


Today, Ashton’s care story continues. He has cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder, for which he receives care from WCHOB. He accomplishes all he tries, and he lights up the lives of those he meets with his loving smile and contagious laugh. He loves to play with his older brother Preston and his dog Daisy. Thanks to Variety of Buffalo & Western New York, Ashton and his family have attended sporting events, like the Minor League Baseball Buffalo Bisons, where Ashton threw the ceremonial first pitch, and the NFL Buffalo Bills.

Variety of Buffalo & Western New York provides funding for life-saving medical programs and equipment, as well as enrichment programs in sports and the arts, in order to transform, uplift, and enrich the lives of children like Ashton.

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