Variety of St. Louis

Every Variety kid is different. But the goal for each of them is the same: to be able to look someone in the eye, and, more importantly, to look themselves in the mirror, and say, “I can.”

With his drive, and energy, and fearlessness, Variety kid Nick already has the “I can” down pat. And he’s only 11. Just imagine when he’s 21.

Nick was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, more commonly known as brittle-bone disease. Just being born broke more than 20 of his bones.

So, it’d be very easy for Nick to avoid taking risks. And for his parents to wrap him in the most protective cocoon they could find.

But Nick and his family don’t spend too much time worrying about what Nick can’t do. Instead, they focus on all the things Nick can excel at.

One thing he’s great at is commanding an audience’s attention. Luckily, Variety St. Louis has been able to give him a platform for doing just that through our Children’s Theatre program. In 2014, Nick played Flounder in our musical production of “The Little Mermaid” and stole the show. In fact, that year, a local publication named him “Best New Stage Actor” for the entire St. Louis region.

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And the relationship between Nick and Variety goes the other way too, as he’s been able to bring attention to Variety’s mission through appearances on TV, in print, on the stage of our annual Dinner With the Stars gala, in a promotional spot running before every film shown at local Wehrenberg theaters.

Nick exemplifies the impact Variety can have on a kid, not just by providing a wheelchair, a reverse walker, a car seat, a foldable ramp, and a bike (all of which Nick’s received through Variety), but by helping develop self-confidence, self-esteem, independence, and social skills.

In that way, Nick’s one of a kind. And, just one of many.

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