Variety The Children’s Charity is getting set to hold its radio-thon fundraiser in Nanaimo on April 8 and it will help benefit people like 17-year-old Katie Schilling.
While active as a child, Schilling was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia when she was 10. The disease progressively damages the nervous system and impacts muscle control and co-ordination, leading to weakness in the arms and legs and requiring the use of a wheelchair.
The charity has assisted Schilling with provision of a stair lift and converting the family van.
“They’ve done a lot to help me with the [stair] lift and the van,” said Schilling. “I think it’s made me a lot more independent and I probably wouldn’t be out as much without this stuff.”
The assistance has boosted Katie emotionally, according to mother Pam.
“Before, Katie was just in her room, it was very hard for her to get [downstairs],” said Pam Schilling. “She would be on her bum pretty much trying to get down and it was coming to a point where she didn’t want to come downstairs anymore, so she was isolated upstairs.”
Pam said it seemed that as soon as Katie gained independence, her confidence began to grow. She now acts, volunteers and does a lot of work with ambassador programs.
Katie will also have an opportunity to showcase her acting skills as Help Fill A Dream, another charity, has given her the chance to appear on the television series Pretty Little Liars.
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“Now they’ve just started filming again, so we’re just waiting for the date,” said Pam.
The radio-thon runs 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Woodgrove Centre and is broadcast on 102.3 The Wave radio station.