Variety Kid Ezekiel is three and a half years old. His favorite thing is music – he enjoys listening and playing along to various tunes. He can memorize a song quickly, playing anything he hears on a toy piano.
Ezekiel’s love for music can also be seen on his new ankle foot orthotics (AFOs), which are covered in music notes. These orthotics keep him on his feet while he’s playing, standing at his piano or dancing around with a small violin.
Without the AFOs, which were provided with help from Variety, Ezekiel feels insecure and unsteady on his feet. The orthotics keep his ankles in proper alignment and help him to walk correctly, in turn keeping him from getting injured and growing his confidence every day.
He has grown so confident, in fact, that the day we took these photos was the first day he walked up his front steps without using the handrail.
This was a major step for Ezekiel, who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism. Ezekiel has struggled with physical development since he was born three months early – he didn’t walk until he was almost two and a half.
Thanks to help from Variety, Ezekiel and his family don’t have to worry about getting the tools he needs to grow.
“Variety’s assistance means I don’t have to compromise on the things I know are going to help him succeed,” says Katie, Ezekiel’s mom. “I was able to get the best orthotics for him knowing we were going to get that help.”
Variety also provided assistance with feeding therapy for Ezekiel through our TherHappy Kids program, and the family plans to ask for assistance with Ezekiel’s sister, who also has special needs.
“I don’t want them to miss out on opportunities because I can’t afford something,” Katie says. “Everyone needs help with their kids – special needs or not!”
You can provide this much-needed help today at HelpAVarietyKid.org.