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Show of Hearts Telethon helps make a difference

Funds allow Lim family to make essential renovations
Kyle Wells

For the 45th consecutive year Variety - the Children’s Charity Show of Hearts Telethon will raise money to help families with children who have special needs, like Powell River’s Lim family, who were helped by last year’s event.

Roy Lim was born with sensory autonomic neuropathy, a disease which causes sensory loss and prevents Roy from feeling pain. Unable to feel pain, Roy, now a grade nine student at Brooks Secondary School, is susceptible to injuries that he isn’t even aware of getting, including broken bones. Roy is able to walk but with difficulty and uses a wheelchair most of the time.

Roy’s parents, Shun and Sung, knew they would need to make their home more wheelchair accessible to make it livable for Roy as he grew older. When Roy was a child Shun could carry him up and down stairs but this became unmanageable as Roy grew bigger. Necessary renovations included replacing carpets with hardwood flooring, making the bathroom handicap-accessible and installing an elevator between the first and second floors.

Barbara Farquharson, a physiotherapist with School District 47, helped the Lims secure funding through Variety and other avenues. She said applicants have to meet certain criteria to apply for the funding but that the helping hand makes a big difference in the lives of families with children that have special needs.

“That family benefited hugely,” said Farquharson. “It’s a fabulous fund to be able to access.”

Shun said having Farquharson take care of the funding has been a big help for the family. The money allowed them to complete the renovations they needed last summer. The modifications allow Roy to be more independent in his own home, which Shun said has made a huge difference in Roy’s life and for the rest of the family.

The telethon will take place Saturday, February 12 and Sunday, February 13 on Global TV. Last year’s telethon raised over $7 million for children with special needs and organizations that support children. The telethon will start at 6 pm on Saturday and run until 6 pm Sunday. Readers can call toll free 310-5437 (KIDS) or visit Variety's website to donate.