Dear Variety,

My son Sam is 11 years old and has Spinal Muscular Atrophy. He has been in a wheelchair since he was about 5. About 3 years ago, it became time to look into a new wheelchair for Sam, one with a lot more functionality than the basic one that he had at the time. It was important to us that we find ways to promote his independence as best we could, and getting the right wheelchair with all of the right functions was the key to that.

Once all the approvals and ordering and all were done, we were left trying to figure out how we were going to pay for the out-of-pocket expense that we would be responsible for when buying this particular wheelchair. As anyone who has every purchased a power wheelchair knows, they are quite expensive, and even with great insurance, having a 10% or 20% co-insurance due really adds up.

I was told that Variety Children’s Charity provided some resources and funding to help with the purchase of mobility equipment for kids, and was put into contact with Deb. Their group of young volunteers managed to raise the funds to help us pay for the out-of-pocket expense that we owed. Sam loved his new wheelchair and we got the peace of mind of not having to worry about the cost aspect of it all. Deb and Variety planned a big event when they did the official presentation of the check. It was a baseball themed function, since Sam is a big baseball fan. We met at a local high school baseball field, and were met by many of the Variety team and some local team mascots who played baseball with Sam and his brothers. There were news people there to interview us and to video the event for the news, which made Sam feel really special! It was a very cool thing. Since then, we have been invited to many Variety fundraising events where we have met a lot of special people.

This is a great organization, and we are proud to consider ourselves part of the Variety family!