Kai Roenspiess appeared on the 50th anniversary Variety Telethon this weekend. He’s been a Star paper carrier for years.

Star carrier appears on Variety Telethon

L.V. Rogers student Kai Roenspiess received the charity’s support to get a cochlear implant.

L.V. Rogers student Kai Roenspiess was born deaf, but thanks to a cochlear implant he can sustain conversations, hear his surroundings and participate in classes like woodworking and shop that otherwise would’ve been off-limits to him.

“It just makes me feel like I’ve been included,” Roenspiess, 15, told the Star. “If I couldn’t hear I wouldn’t know if the power tools in shop class were on, but now with my processor I can hear my surroundings.”

All of that is thanks to the Variety Club, which had its 50th anniversary telethon this weekend. Roenspiess appeared so viewers can could up on his progress since he last appeared on it seven years ago.

“When I originally approached Variety, I only asked for $2,000,” said Kai’s mother Kris. “But they told me don’t ask for partial, just ask for everything at that point we’d already cashed in our RRSPs for his initial surgery.”

In other words: they couldn’t have afforded to help him without the help of the Variety Club, which “takes over where BC medical leaves off,” Kris said.

“With upgrades [the implant] can fit behind his ear like a hearing aid. It’s allowed him to hear in a classroom, it’s got a waterproof case so he can go swimming with it. It’s opened a lot of doors for him.”

That’s something both Kai and Kris are enormously grateful for, particularly because it allows him to have a normal teenage social life in Nelson, rather than having to travel to a special school elsewhere.

“Obviously a lot of people at my school don’t know sign language, so that would be a hard situation,” said Kai.

Over the past half century, Variety has raised $189 million that has gone directly to BC children. The telethon ran Saturday and Sunday on Global TV.

Call 310-KIDS to donate or text “KIDS” to 45678. You can also visit variety.bc.ca to make a donation.

Kai aspires to be a builder of some sort.

“I see a great future ahead of me,” he said.

 

Just Posted

Ammonia leak shuts down Nelson Curling Club

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Four points for Fawcett as Leafs win 7th straight

Nelson edged the Fernie Ghostriders 4-3

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Seven Nelson rec projects granted Columbia Basin Trust funding

Nelson’s baseball and tennis clubs were the big winners

Sanchez leads Leafs to 6th straight win

Nelson held off Spokane 3-2 on Friday

‘Just like Iron Man’: Calgary surgeon undergoes experimental spinal surgery

Dr. Richi Gill was in a freak accident on a boogie board during a family vacation in Hawaii

Deported B.C. man who came to Canada as a baby granted chance at return

Lee Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017

A Mother’s Wish: Ryan Shtuka’s mother wants her son to be ‘forever known’

‍‍‍‍‍“Let me tell you a story …. it all began with a boy named Ryan”

Sex abuse survivors to meet with Vatican summit organizers

Pope Francis has urged participants to meet with abuse victims before they came to Rome

Ex-FBI official: ‘Crime may have been committed’ by Trump

Andrew McCabe said FBI had good reason to open a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was in league with Russia

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

Most Read