Penticton teen featured on Variety Show of Hearts telethon

Sebastiaan Bakker, 17, will be among the kids whose stories are featured during the weekend fundraiser for Variety — The Children’s Charity.

Sebastiaan Bakker is one of the children whose stories will be told during the Variety Children’s Charity fundraiser.

Sebastiaan Bakker is one of the children whose stories will be told during the Variety Children’s Charity fundraiser.

Viewers tuning in to the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon this weekend on Global B.C. may catch a glimpse of a Penticton teenager.

Sebastiaan Bakker, 17, will be among the kids whose stories are featured during the weekend fundraiser for Variety — The Children’s Charity.

His mom, Nicole, said all seemed well with her son when he was young, but that he became noticeably ill when he was seven. Sebastiaan was later diagnosed with chronic bone disease, arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

Variety has been able to help the family with funding to cover very expensive medications, one of which requires a $1,750 annual insurance deductible.

Although expensive, the medication has two positive effects on Sebastiaan: It helps to control the Crohn’s disease as well as relieves his arthritis symptoms. And having his mobility restored allows Sebastiaan to exercise, which also helps him psychologically.

The charity has also provided other assistance over the years on multiple trips to and from Vancouver for medical procedures, plus other items such as specially designed shoes and mattresses.

“Variety is always willing to help even with seemingly small things,” said Nicole, who has two other children.

Show of Hearts 2015 begins Saturday at 6 p.m. and wraps up Sunday at 5 p.m. on Global BC. It’s still unknown when exactly Sebastiaan’s feature will air.

The telethon raises funds to support children who have special needs and the organizations who provide services to children all over B.C. Organizers said this year they will have a social lounge where bloggers will be sharing the excitement from the theatre through social media. They plan on sending information via Twitter (@VarietyBC) on his story and hope people from Penticton will respond with personal tweets

Visit www.variety.bc.ca for more information.

 

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