The gift of getting around

A Nelson woman is grateful for the support of the Variety Club of B.C. in helping provide a special walker for her 2½ year old son.

Todd St. Pierre is getting around using a mobility system purchased with the Variety Club’s help.

Todd St. Pierre is getting around using a mobility system purchased with the Variety Club’s help.

A Nelson woman is grateful for the support of the Variety Club of B.C. in helping provide a special walker for her 2½ year old son.

Todd St. Pierre was born with bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria, a rare genetic disorder that impairs his motor functions.

“It affects more than just his limbs, but his lower limbs are very weak,” says his mother Holly.

“His muscle and his fat tissue is intertwined, so he was very weak at birth.”

Todd isn’t able to stand on his own, but thanks to Kid Walk, a “pediatric mobility system,” purchased with Variety’s help about six months ago, he’s in the process of learning to walk.

“The walker has a bicycle seat he sits on, and then puts pressure when he needs to,” St. Pierre says. “He’s got to push with his arms.

“He loves it. It gets him off the floor. Normally he’s crawling around, but this gets him upright. He sees things from a toddler’s view instead of on the ground all the time. He gets mobile.”

The walker is adjustable, so Todd will be able to continue using it as he grows.

St. Pierre says with the help of Todd’s occupational and physical therapists, she approached Variety to help fund the walker, and they were “gracious enough to get us the money for it.”

The total cost of the walker was $4,543. Variety provided $2,195 while the Ministry of Children and Families funded the rest through its At Home program, which helps parents with the costs of caring for a disabled child.

The Variety Club’s 45th annual telethon goes from 7 p.m. Saturday through 6 p.m. Sunday on Global TV, hosted by the station’s news and weather personalities.

Last year’s show raised $7.4 million for kids with special needs and organizations that support children.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Wildlife biologist and educator Joanne Siderius was last year’s winner of the Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award for women environmentalists in the West Kootenay. Photo: Submitted
Hunter Jin shows off some homemade rice wraps. Donations poured into the Nelson Community Food Centre during the holidays. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Community Food Centre brings in $150k during holiday fundraising

The centre says the money will help address significant need in the city

Castlegar Sculpturewalk 2020 – 10 Year Anniversary Sand Sculpture. (Submitted/CBT)
CBT arts and culture grant program now accepting applications

Apply through the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
B.C. ramping up screening for faster-spreading COVID-19 ‘variants of concern’

B.C. has sequenced about 11,000 COVID-positive samples since last February

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
B.C. teen ‘locked inside,’ battling to regain speech after severe brain bleed

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Most Read