The 43rd annual CKNW Kids’ Fund Pledge Day hit a high note on Tuesday for one young recipient who had the chance to meet his personal hero, Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Jayden Weiss, 11, has autism spectrum disorder and was nonverbal until the age of five.
With donations from the CKNW Kids’ Fund, he was able to attend music therapy sessions.
“I can’t thank CKNW enough. It’s completely changed our lives,” said his mother, Anita Rudge. “CKNW really made a difference because they’re one of the only organizations out there that actually fund music therapy.”
Jayden is now able to speak, sing, and even play guitar.
“I’m learning a lot,” he said.
Inspired by the words of British Columbia’s provincial health officer, Weiss also created and sold “Be kind” bracelets to help to raise money for other children on the autism spectrum.
During the live Kids’ Fund Pledge Day broadcast on 980AM CKNW on Tuesday, the boy was surprised with a special phone call from Henry herself.
“I’m so impressed you can sing and play guitar,” Henry said.
Weiss told her that he wears his mask to school to keep his teachers safe “because we love our teachers so much.”
“I know it has been really hard for kids this year, especially people like you, Jayden, who have special needs,” she replied.
“I’m just so thankful that you’re doing things like that and we’re being kind to each other. Thank you for doing your part.”
Pledge Day raised a total of $1,300,022 this year to help enhance the lives of children with physical, mental, and social challenges living in B.C. communities.
You can make a donation online at cknwkidsfund.com.