Community Papers

Prince Rupert family urges support for Variety

A Prince Rupert couple is encouraging people to open up their hearts and help British Columbia families like theirs.

Elaine and Timothy Hupman have relied on Variety – The Children's Charity to help pay for their son's pricey medication for a number of years and hope that Rupertites will support Variety's 48th Annual Show of Hearts Telethon, which takes place later this week.

"We're very, very grateful for all that Variety has done for us," Elaine said.

"Many B.C. families wouldn't be able to make it without Variety ... we need these organizations, and people need to contribute to them to keep them going."

When the Hupman's son Matthew was nine years old he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Doctors first recommended that Matthew take Ritalin, but when no improvements were seen he was prescribed Concerta.

"The medication helps him maintain that calm so he can focus, even though he still struggles," Elaine said.

The medication is expensive and isn't covered by the BC Medical system. The cost of Matthew's medications has varied from year-to-year depending on the dosages level, with Elaine estimating it ranges from $1,500 and $2,500 per year.

The family has applied for grants through Variety, with the children's charity providing more than $3,000 to the Hupman's since 2008.

"The assistance means we have the financial freedom to take care of our family. We're on a one-person income," said Elaine, adding the family purchased a home that is in need of renovations.

"Getting help with his medication helps us achieve goals like that."

Elaine encouraged people to help out in any way they can, whether it be by donating or volunteering their time.

"We need to stick together as families, communities and a province. The government isn't there for us. Organizations like Variety are," she said.

The Show of Hearts Telethon is Variety – The Children's Charity's biggest fundraising event of the year, and will be aired on Global BC on Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m., with viewers being able to make a pledge by calling 310-KIDS or by donating online at variety.bc.ca.

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