Ben

At three years old, Ben captures people’s hearts with his kind nature and clever sense of humour, spreading smiles wherever he goes. Ben is passionate about ball sports and has already begun his training for Special Olympics! Born with Down Syndrome, Benjamin needs some therapies and equipment to help him reach his full potential.

The Down Syndrome Research Foundation (DSRF) in Burnaby offers programs in many areas of development for those with Down Syndrome, however, Ben’s parents couldn’t afford the cost.

That’s when Variety stepped in and provided the funds necessary so that Ben could receive the services he needs so his development can flourish. And has it ever! With the funding provided by Variety – made possible by donors like you – Ben is now able to access speech therapy and occupational therapy sessions from the DSRF experts.

Since beginning the program Ben has developed great communication skills and he’s able to sign over 100 words. While Ben only has three spoken words right now, he does appear to be on the verge of a speech breakthrough and lately he’s been babbling morning to night.

Ben’s low muscle tone has made it difficult for him to have the fine motor strength and dexterity to do something as simple as colour – and we all know how kids love to colour. After only a few sessions with an occupational therapist Ben can draw lines and scribble. He really loves art time now and gets very excited when the colouring pages and the markers come out.

Thanks to Variety, Ben has also been able to get orthotics. The low muscle tone experienced by kids like Ben presents a challenge when learning to walk. With the help of his orthotics, Ben went from struggling to stand, to couch cruising, to walking with help, to taking steps on his own.

The best thing Variety’s support has provided for Ben is increased confidence to try the things that are more difficult for him. His face lights up when we pull into the parking lot of the Down Syndrome Research Foundation. He loves the sessions with his therapists there. We’ve also noticed significant cognitive improvements since he’s been able to more fully explore the world on his own two feet, plus the fact he now has people working with him who believe in his abilities. We are so grateful to have Variety’s help in accessing all the bridges we need to raise Ben.” – Sandra, Benjamin’s Mom

For more information or to support Variety, visit our financials page, get involved with us or donate today!

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Dear Variety Family,

During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) global situation, our highest priority is the health, safety and well-being of our Variety donors, families, members, supporters, volunteers and all British Columbians.

Variety BC has been here for more than 50 years ensuring kids with special needs thrive. I would like to assure you that during this uncertain time, we will continue to be here for BC’s kids with special needs.

I also would like to provide you with an update on our response to date and our commitment to you moving forward:

  • In keeping with the BC Centre for Disease Control’s recommendations, we will be postponing all Variety events between March 16th and April 30th including our One Night in the Valley Gala on Saturday, April 4th at the Glass House Estate Winery
  • We have closed the Variety Office as a precautionary measure and are having employees set up to work-from-home. All in-person meetings will be moved to teleconference. We will evaluate working “virtually” on a week-to-week basis while actively monitoring the evolution of this global pandemic and returning to regular operating procedures once health authorities deem it safe for our staff to do so.
  • Due to our office closure, we have postponed the shipping of Robert Bateman’s Woodworkers – Pilated Woodpeckers posters and our Variety water bottles. Anyone looking for tax receipts will receive them via email
  • With the closure of BC’s schools, the need to ensure our kids are supported has never been so great. As such, our Heart of Variety Fund will continue to accept grant accept applications by e-mail.
    Like all of you, we will monitor the COVID-19 situation and communicate with you on important health and safety measures and decisions regarding events regularly.

We encourage you to stay informed by visiting BC Centre for Disease Control’s website at www.bccdc.ca and the Government of Canada’s website at www.canada.ca/en/publichealth/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.

We are grateful for your support as we navigate through this uncertain time.

Thank you,


Cally Wesson
CEO – Variety BC