Trail boy’s story helps raise funds for B.C. children

Global BC has selected 12-year-old Devon McIsaac from Trail as a poster boy for its 46th annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon.

  • Feb. 10, 2012 2:00 p.m.

Global BC has selected 12-year-old Devon McIsaac from Trail as a poster boy for its 46th annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon.

The show, that will air this Saturday at 7 p.m. through to 6 p.m. Sunday, raises money for special-needs children and their families as well as children’s organizations.

Devon’s parents Paul and Tammy McIsaac first connected with Variety this summer when they received funding toward upgrading their wheel-chair accessible van.

“We hope Devon’s story will help someone else out there and show people that they’re not alone,” said Tammy.

Devon’s story was captured this fall at a “seating clinic” in Castlegar, where health professionals congregate and recommend the next stage of equipment necessary to deliver care to children with disabilities.

It took about three hours to film with constant interruptions along the way, including epileptic episodes due to lighting.

“Devon is an A-Z child basically, he has epilepsy, chronic respiratory problems, he eats through a feed line for 12 hours a day, he’s non-verbal, in a wheelchair and has global development delay,” said Tammy.

And the list continues to grow, with Devon recently being diagnosed with Lupus.

Life has been challenging for the McIsaac’s, who travel to the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver at least three times a year for checkups or emergency visits. Financially, it’s been difficult to foot the bill, especially while continuing to provide for their older 14-year-old son Cody.

“Life changed dramatically for me, I became a full-time nurse,” said Tammy. “Each day I fear if he is going to make it.”

But working with Devon has only made Tammy and her family stronger.

“You don’t take life for granted and you accept who you are and deal with what you’ve been dealt,” she said. “You have to be positive because if you’re not, you’re never going to make it.”

Devon’s story will air Saturday sometime between 9 and 10 p.m. and Sunday between 1-2 a.m., 2-3 a.m. and 10-11 a.m.

Since 1965, the children’s charity has raised over $155 million to help cover the cost of out-of-town travel and accommodation when a child requires medical treatment away from home. Variety also provides grants for prescription drugs, wheelchairs, walkers, physical and occupational therapy, tutoring sessions and more.

For more information, visit or to make a donation during the telethon event, call 310-KIDS (5437) (no area code needed from anywhere in the province).

For those wishing to help Devon and his family, donations can be made to an account under Devon McIsaac at Kootenay Savings Credit Union in Trail.

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