Lenore was a normal, healthy three-year-old when she and her family learned there was a malignant tumor wrapped around the top half of her spine.
The cancer, thankfully, was cured. But in the process, complications arose which left Lenore permanently paralyzed.
As is often the case, her parents suffered not just the shock of her disability, but of the price tag that goes with it.
You see, insurance doesn’t always cover things like power wheelchairs and standers. Lenore’s mom, Karin, says that in the eyes of many insurance companies, “Being in a standing position isn’t medically necessary. That’s a convenience.” A position they take even though such items can help increase muscle tone and bone density.
Luckily, Lenore, and her parents, found out about, and reached out to, Variety – the Children’s Charity. We were able to get Lenore a power wheelchair that not only helps her get around, but lowers itself enough to allow Lenore to be down at floor level with her friends and classmates.
Variety also secured a stander for Lenore, which, as her mom says, allows her to put in therapy time under the guise of playing games, doing crafts, and helping whip up delicious desserts in the kitchen.
Speaking of games and crafts, Lenore’s also been able to take advantage of Variety’s summer Adventure Camp, which also includes activities like swimming, baseball, dancing, rock-climbing, and field trips to local attractions.
Through Variety’s Therapy program, Lenore also gets hours of physical and occupational therapy at no cost to her family.
And, perhaps most important in the eyes of a five-year-old, Lenore got her very own therapeutic bike through Variety’s Freedom program. Lenore was just about to discover the freedom and independence that riding a bike provides when she got sick, so the tricycle her parents had purchased never had a chance to take her on any adventures. But with the bike she has now, we can happily report that she’s enthusiastically making up for lost time.
In a few more years, when she’s old enough, Lenore will also be eligible to participate in Variety Children’s Theatre’s annual musical production. In the past, we’ve put on Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Annie, and a number of other shows. And in the future, it’s not hard to see Lenore do what so many Variety kids before her have done: steal the show.