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Monday, 5 March 2012

Truly Charitable

I just wanted to share this with everyone because I"m so very proud of the province I call home after this weekend.

Every year, for the past 35 to get exact, the Kinsmen/Kinettes Clubs of this province have put on an event called Telemiracle. It is a 20-hour telethon that is aired on all local stations. They bring in talent from all over the country, and have tons of local talent from around the province as well. People from around the province call in to donate money.

The money goes to providing for special needs. Basically, anyone with special needs or illness who needs specific equipment or has travel expenses, or accommodation needs can apply for funding.

This telethon has made the record books worldwide as one of the biggest per-capita telethons in the world.

Think about this... there are just barely a million people in this province, and this year they raised 5.9 million dollars in 20 hours. Amazing eh!! I'm so proud of all the work that people have done. There are always tons of fundraisers and schools, community groups, families do special fundraisers all the time.

Growing up I loved this show. I should mention that the longest standing celeb to be on it is Bob McGrath. That's right, Bob from Sesame Street. He's made 35 out of 36 telethons. The one year he didn't make it, he was sick. The story goes that Bob now refuses all payment for his appearance - he apparently pays his own hotel and airfare to get to the show, because he is so touched by the miracles that they perform. I don't know if this is really true, but I like to believe it is.

Anyway, growing up, my brother and I would sit in front of the tv at 9 pm waiting for it to start and then try to stay up all night watch. We loved it. We would keep close track of the ongoing totals and wait for our names to scrawl across the bottom of the screen with our donations.

As I've gotten older, the draw of the show itself has worn off a bit - it's just not as shiny as it used to be. The celeb names not as big, and the presentations of money not as exciting. However, the actual cause has become a lot more real to me.

I have a close friend who I have known since I was three. We went to pre-school together and are still friends today. That's 32 years people, which may not seem like much, but we're only 35! Anyway, about four years ago, my friend had her second child. Until 17 weeks, things seemed to be perfect, then she started spotting and having major cramping. She went to the doc and they did an ultrasound. What they discovered was astonishing. The baby had a giant oemphalacele. This is a condition where the abdominal organs grow on the outside of the body and the stomach does not close as it's supposed to. His stomach, liver, intestines, and spleen were all in a sack outside of his body. This was the worst case they had ever seen in Canada.

My friend could not bring herself to end the pregnancy, even though doctors recommended it. When she hit term, they induced and the decision was to keep the baby warm and comfortable until he passed. But when he was born he fought so hard and was healthy with the exception of the oemphalacele that the doctors had to intervene.

This little boy, David, spent the first year of his life in the NICU and PICU. He is now four and his stomach is completely closed up. He had other heart and lung complications as well which led to him needing a trache tube put in. The hope is that his trache will be removed next month.

This little boy is smart and so charismatic... you can't help but fall in love with him.

Anyway, without Telemiracle, my friends would have lost everything - they would have been homeless and unable to care for their sick child properly. Telemiracle saved this family.

The miracle of this telethon is not lost on me. Today, more than ever, I understand what a difference it can make in the life of an individual or family. I don't think twice about giving to this cause and if you are looking for a truly helpful charity to donate to, I urge you to do it. I can speak to the impact that they have and that the funds raised really do go to worthwhile causes - not to politics and overhead.

If you are looking to be inspired, or just to simply fall in love, check out the video of David's story - I dare you not to fall head-over-heels for this little heart breaker!

Recipient Testimonials - David

2 comments:

MN

Wow! I'm glad David is doing so well. It sounds like a really great organization.

Jenny

David is an amazing little boy. And so sweet. :)

I'm always astonished at the amount of money Telemiracle and the Z99 Radiothon for Mother Baby Care raise every year, especially considering that they're held back-to-back. There are a lot of big hearts in our province.

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