"I want to thank all of you at Variety for your support throughout the year with accommodation and transportation assistance. Our son, Matthew, was diagnosed prenatally with a rare and complex heart defect about a year ago.
We live in Kelowna and in early 2010, we spent two months in Vancouver to prepare for Matthew's birth and possible surgeries. We had never experiencedsuch a stressful time before in our lives, but the financial and emotional support from Variety made the load lighter.
Fortunately when Matty was born he required no initial surgeries. This gave Matty time to grow and develop for what would be certain surgery in the near future. Last November, the doctors decided it was time so we prepared for another stay in Vancouver.
Once again, Variety stepped up and provided fuel reimbursement for our trips to Vancouver for several surgery consultations and finally for our final trip when Matty was admitted to the hospital. Although these trips to and from Vancouver add up, we will do whatever it takes to ensure Matty has the best chance to thrive.
Matty's surgery was successful, but within 24 hours our son was fighting for his life. He had numerous post surgery complications including a collapsed lung, a high fever and a ruptured lymph node near his heart. Nothing could compare to that stress and anxiety. But Matty is a fighter and with help from his doctors and prayers from friends and family, he pulled through and was discharged less than two weeks after his surgery.
With Variety taking the financial burden off of all those road trips, it allowed us to afford airline tickets for my wife, Christine, and Matty, to take a one hour flight home after the surgery rather than the 5 to 6 hours on the snowy BC roads. Matty slept comfortably all the way. Matty's three year old sister, Sophia, jumped for joy when they came off the plane in Kelowna. It was a very good day.
Itís now been several months since Matty had his surgery and he looks great. He is playful, feisty and happy and, by outward appearance, a normal baby boy. We know the road for Matty will have its challenges, but for now, we will enjoy this time and prepare for his next surgery in three or four years time.
We can say that Variety truly lives up to their mission of inspiring hope and enriching the lives of children who have special needs. Perhaps one day, Matty's story will give hope to other families in a similar situation.
Thank you so much for helping our family.
The Hartwick Family"
Variety - The Children's Charity 4300 Still Creek Drive Burnaby, British Columbia Canada V5C 6C6 Phone: 604.320.0505 | Fax: 604.320.0535 | Toll-free in BC & Alberta: 310.KIDS (5437) | E-mail: email@example.com