David McMillan is like any other four-year-old. He likes superheroes, Ninja Turtles and playing with toys.
His mom, Carley Wardrope, calls him a “little joker” with a very gentle nature. He’s also a chatterbox, but it wasn’t always that way.
David has a form of cerebral palsy. His mom explained that, either just before birth or at birth, he suffered a stroke. It impacted the right side of his body and his speech.
“David was in need of some speech therapy as well as some orthotics for his feet because he couldn’t walk properly,” said Wardrope, who has lived in Mission for the past seven years.
A support worker suggested she contact Variety – The Children’s Charity for assistance. That’s when David’s world changed.
Variety approved the family’s request for speech therapy, and the change in David was almost immediate.
“David’s speech went from below six months to almost a two-year-old level. It was really amazing,” said Wardrope.
And his speech is continuing to improve.
“He’s a little chatterbox now. He likes to tell me that he’s a copy bird.”
While he had learned to walk, orthotics were needed to fix some of his physical ailments.
“The muscles in his right leg have shrank because he walks on his tippy-toes, which I guess is easiest for him to do, and so they have to form it back. He also walks on the side of it.”
A new set of orthotics was recently approved for David, who has outgrown the old ones.
He’s getting a brace up to his knee on the right side and on the left it is an orthotics to balance him.
It’s an exciting time for David and his mom.
“He never even crawled, he actually pulled himself around. He runs now, all the time.”
His hand is improving as well.
Wardrope said none of this would have been possible without the help of Variety.
As for David, he’s enjoying being a kid, but he likes to help others as well.
“He notices everything. He’s always watching around him. If someone is sad or he senses anything off, he goes and comforts them. He’s just a really loving boy.”
The 50th annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon takes place this weekend (Feb. 13-14). The show will be broadcast across the province on Global TV.