Ashlee is a fun and full of life 10-year-old girl who loves the Packers, Brewers, and Badgers. She also loves music, dancing, arts and crafts, people and babies. Ashlee is diagnosed with Joubert syndrome which limits her from participating in many activities that her typical peers enjoy, but she wanted to be able to ride a bike.
Variety gifted Ashlee her very own adaptive bike this summer. Riding her bike has quickly become her favorite activity. Her mom Stacy tells us that Ashlee's confidence has gone up and she feels like a normal kid for once.
"Thank you so much for giving my little Ashlee such a wonderful opportunity! This bike has changed her life completely. Ashlee now says she is a "GoPro" girl. Her entire demeanor has changed now that she has her new wheels! Her energy levels have gone up and she has been smiling since we brought the bike home. Thanks again to everyone who made this dream possible for us! She now has limitless potential!" Ashlee’s mom, Stacy
Matilda is a happy, outgoing and energetic 6 year old who loves to laugh and have fun. She is diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome and is non-verbal, but that doesn’t stop her from making new friends! To help Matilda with her communication, Variety purchased her a special heavy duty tablet with communication software.
Matilda’s entire family enjoys attending Variety’s Future Program events, such as the annual holiday party and visiting the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. Matilda uses her “talker” to introduce herself to other children. Through the Future Program events and using her communication device at home, her mom says that Matilda’s family interaction has improved, saying “she is all around better at communication.”
“It is nice to have social outings with other families with similar challenges! We have met so many wonderful people, some who have become friends we see outside of events! The items Matilda has received and the experiences through Variety’s Future Program have opened up a new world to her. Our family is so thankful for Variety!” Matilda’s mom, Tricia
Brandon had a great time with his family at Variety’s Chatter Matters! Communication Camp. While Brandon had fun making friends and engaging in “non parallel play” for the first time, his parents enjoyed the opportunity to share their concerns with other parents who ‘get it.’
Brandon, who is 7 years old, has Agenesis of the corpus collosum, epilepsy, and speech apraxia. Before camp, Jim and Wendy were a little skeptical of the need for Brandon to use a communication device, as Brandon can verbally communicate, it is just very difficult to understand him. But by the end of camp, everyone understood the importance the device is for Brandon.
“Chatter Matters was an excellent experience for all of us. Brandon made some friends and was able to be himself and not be judged, was able to participate in some great activities. It was really awesome to see others using their devices and what a lifeline these devices are in helping children to express themselves. The Speech Pathologists, students and other professionals at Chatter Matters were instrumental in an overall awesome experience that will never be forgotten.” Brandon’s dad, Jim