As 20-month-old Jasmine Tawilah grows, so will her medical bills. And knowing that a lifetime of expensive medications are in his daughter’s future, her father is grateful for the support of Variety – The Children’s Charity to help keep Jasmine growing.
Jasmine was born prematurely at Campbell River hospital, and quickly transfered to BC Children’s Hospital, said her father, Fadi Tawilah.
Born weighing about six pounds, she was down to about four pounds before doctors realized what was wrong.
“She wasn’t growing,” Tawilah explained. “She has no growth hormone or cortisone.”
At the age of four months, Jasmine had surgery to close a hole in her skull, which hadn’t fully developed. She must also contend with optic nerve hypoplasia, which means her optic nerves are small and her vision is compromised.
Jasmine has small pituitary glands which means her cortisol and thyroid and growth hormones are not functioning properly.
And as a consequence, Jasmine faces many years of daily growth hormone injections, and a lifetime of cortisol injections.
“Her growth hormone is very expensive and can only come from BC Children’s Hospital,” Tawilah said. “As she grows, she has to get more – she can’t grow without it.”
The support from Variety has helped cover some of the costs of Jasmine’s medications.
The help Jasmine’s family receives requires an annual application for funding, which Tawilah is getting set to complete for the upcoming year.
Variety the Children’s Charity provides support to families in communities throughout B.C. who are facing both financial and emotional challenges arising from their child’s medical condition. Since 1965, Variety has raised more than $155 million, all of which stays in B.C.
The annual Variety Show of Hearts telethon is one of the organization’s major fundraisers, last year bringing in more than $7 million.
The Variety Show of Hearts Telethon airs on Feb. 11 and 12 on Global BC.