Variety brings boost to brothers

Penticton brothers featured on this weekend's Show of Hearts Telethon

Drew Boileau and oral interpreter Selena Norwich work together at McNicoll Park Middle School. Drew’s brother Dante Boileau (shown below) holds his new

Two Penticton brothers are now enjoying a quality of life they could never have imagined even just a year ago.

Dante, 16, and Drew Boileau, 14, were born with a severe inherited impairment resulting in a 70 per cent hearing loss.

Growing up in small-town Alberta, their mother began teaching them sign language, which was fine until they began school.

At the time, education officials wanted the parents to sign documents stating the Dante was “mentally handicapped” so they could apply for additional funding to help him.

However, according to his father Daniel, that was not going to happen.

“Of course, I refused because I didn’t want to put that label on him,” he said. “It was difficult enough without putting him through that.”

It was around then the family decided to move to B.C. where they hoped the children would have a better opportunity to succeed.

Although they continued to have to use the older-style hearing aid, they eventually met up with teaching assistant Jill McCullum through the school district.

The relationship eventually led to the connection with Variety The Children’s Charity and the start of significant changes in their lives.

“They (Variety) have been fantastic,” said Daniel. “They purchased some new high-tech hearing aids for my two boys, which was great because the ones they had before were not so high-tech.

“The new ones are a lot smaller so you can’t see them, so not only is it better for them to hear, I think it’s also better for their self-esteem.”

Because of the positive impact this has had on the brothers, their story will be among those aired during the 46th annual Show of Hearts Telethon this weekend on Global B.C.

Not surprisingly, Daniel is urging people to pledge whatever they can.

“You hear a lot of Variety this and that, but when you’re a part of it, it really makes you feel differently,” he said. “I would not have been able to afford these without Variety’s help. I just can’t pull $5,000 out of thin air, but the amount that it helps them is beyond any price.”

Drew also expressed his appreciation.

“I just want to say a really big thank you (to Variety) because this has really made a huge difference in everything I do.”

Meanwhile for Dante, who attends Penticton Secondary School, the small size of the hearing aids means he will be able to wear them under his helmet when he plays football again next season.

“It basically helps me in every aspect of my life, not just at school, but at home as well,” he said. “I’m very grateful and I encourage people to donate to Variety, not just four our benefit, but for all the others as well.”

The brothers are both excited — and a little nervous — about being on television, but are looking forward to what promises to be a fun weekend.

The telethon begins at 7 p.m. Saturday and runs through to 6 p.m. Sunday. Pledges can be made by calling 310-KIDS or by visiting www.variety.bc.ca.

 

Just Posted

Hwy. 97 reopened after Trout Creek collision

No details on injuries or cause yet

Souper Sunday raises Soupateria profile

The competition pits local chefs against each other to make soup for the those in need.

Supporting survivors of breast cancer

Survivorship shows there is life beyond cancer

Foreigner feeling like the first time after 40

Foreigner doesn’t miss a beat after 40 years

Octoberfest is the toast of the town

Eighth annual night of fun, music and brews

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

A golden opportunity

Orthodontist offers sweet deal for the pocketbook

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Reel Reviews: Nothing left to lose

We say, “Grieving Quan kicks butt”

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

Most Read