Variety of Jersey

Harry de Gruchy-Wilson is five years old and was born with physical and learning needs. He is able to walk but only for short distances. Like all boys of his age he is a lively child who enjoys outdoor activities, but with only a normal wheelchair these were very restricted.

Variety – the Children’s Charity of Jersey was delighted to buy an All Terrain Delta Buggy costing $3,600. This buggy has changed Harry’s life. Not only can it be used as a normal wheelchair but it can be attached to the back of Harry’s Mum’s bike. It has the added advantage that it can be altered as Harry grows so should give him many more years of pleasure.

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Along with his Mum and his friends he is able to enjoy the beach and the woods. No path is too rough for Harry. He has taken part in a ‘Ride the Airport Runway’ which was a unique opportunity. Every Saturday morning he joins in the Jersey Park Run of 5km on the cycle track. He went on holiday with his cousins to their croft on the Isle of Lewis where he enjoyed the beaches, moors and cliff paths. At Christmastime, dressed in a Santa outfit he took part in the Variety Santa Fun Run which he thoroughly enjoyed and helped to raise much needed funds for Variety.

Harry’s Mum says “This is just the beginning, we have so many years of adventures ahead of us. Thank you Variety for making this happen.”

‘Women’s Mini Marathon’ for Emmett

When Emmett was 6 weeks old he was diagnosed with tumours on both eyes. He lost his left eye due to the most dangerous tumour. He spent 9 months travelling to Switzerland for treatment. Emmett was in remission when his family reached out to us. At that stage they did not know how much sight he had in his right eye. The plan was to get a new prosthesis for the left eye and down the line an implant for the right.

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That day we ran, walked and some of us even crawled the ‘women’s mini marathon’, 10k in Dublin. That would not be such a challenge for the fit and active but it was definitely a challenge for those not in that category. Another beautiful Irish summer day (rain, rain, rain) but that did not deter this group who set out to raise funds for Emmet now aged 2. Variety was proud to help him and his family and can report that in July this year he had surgery, has recovered well.

Variety And The Daily Mirror Work Their Magic For Louie

Louie and twin sister Ava Elbourne were born nine weeks premature and have cerebral palsy which meant they were unable to walk.

In January 2016, Ava was selected to undergo selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery as part of a trial in the UK. Within a few weeks she was walking with the help of tripod sticks!

Louie was not accepted onto the UK trial as his cerebral palsy is more complex which devastated his parents. They feared the only person who could help him was Dr Parks, pioneering surgeon and resident at the children’s hospital in the US city of St Louis. However, this treatment would cost the family $46,245.00 USD which they did not have.

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Variety of Great Britain (Tent 36) heard about this heart-rending story and immediately contacted the Editor of UK newspaper the Daily Mirror to offer the Charity’s help by pledging to raise the funds to enable Louie to have the same operation as his twin sister without further delay.

Louie’s miracle surgery took place 18th October 2016. The Elbourne family were given a warm welcome by members of Tent 4 – Variety of St Louis. In just two months after having the operation in US, Louie is out of his wheelchair and now practicing his walking.

On the 23rd April 2017, Louie’s Dad (Phil Elbourne) is going be running the London Marathon to raising funds on behalf of Variety to give back as much of the donated funds as he can to help other children.

Variety of Israel

“My daughter is a miracle.” Tell us Etti, Liam’s mother. Lian and Liam were born in the 34th week of pregnancy. Lian was born weighing 2.200 and Liam was born 1.400 weight.

Already as a baby, Etti understood that Liam has a problem, as she could not lift her head at the routine checkups mothers attend at the infant welfare center.

When Liam was 2 years old Etti was offered to put Liam in a special kindergarten. Painfully but with the encouragement of the teacher and assistant she decided it would be the right thing for Liam’s development and indeed Liam studied and developed well in the special kindergarten.

Liam did not speak until age 5 and started walking at the age of two years and 8 months. Liam has a twin sister named Lian. During pregnancy Liam blocked the oxygen aisles and it became highly recommended to stop the pregnancy, but Etti refused. In addition, while in NICU Liam was infected with a virus and the doctors were not sure she will live.

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Today Liam is dealing with autism, mental retardation, hearing impairment, asthma and ADHD. Today, 12-year-old Liam is a beautiful girl, looks completely normal, wears hearing aids and attends a regular school with the assistant at a special class.

Liam has difficulty understanding social situations. She does not know the differentiate between good and bad and she does not know what is allowed and what is forbidden. When one ask Etti Liam’s mother regarding Liam’s future, she finds it difficult to answer, she says she looks mainly at the present and the future. She hopes Liam will narrow the gap, and will able to fit like regular kids her age. That is Liam’s mother faith and desire. Etti, Liam’s mother is a single mother rising by herself 3 children.

Etti tells us “Liam was not given any chance to live and here we are at this day. This girl is a miracle!” Even Liam’s doctors are not able to predict Liam’s future, they also talk about here and now, “You never know what the future will bring.”

“Variety” Israel helped the family purchase of rehabilitation equipment and still continues to help and complete the funding for other needs the family requires for many years. Leam and her family take part in all of Variety Israel’s activities for children during the year such as: Family Fun days, shows and performances workshops, special lighting Hanukkah candles and also are participating in the annual “Variety” Israel fund-raising evening.