Cable 8 to hold telethon benefitting disabled child

The Cable 8 team plans to donate the $2,000 they raise to help Alex Reister, a boy with cerebral palsy.

From Staff Reports

Cable 8 Productions will reach out to the WSU and Pullman community this February in order to touch the life of a two-year-old boy with cerebral palsy.

The Cable 8 team set a goal to raise $2,000 in the Cougar Vision Outreach Program’s second annual telethon, said Danielle Gilbertson, vice president of Marketing and Alumni Affairs for Cable 8. The funds will go to Alex Reister, who they found through Pullman Early Learning Services (ELS). ELS is a private, non-profit agency that works with children, birth to three years, who have disabilities.

“We’re trying to purchase (Alex) a swing that trains his legs to move properly because he can’t walk on his own,” Gilbertson said. “His legs collapse when he tries to walk on them.”

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), cerebral palsy is caused by problems in parts of the brain that control muscles and movement. There is no cure for the disorder, but treatment and physical therapy can improve the abilities of affected children. The sooner the children begin treatment, the better their chances of overcoming the physical challenges, according to the NINDS.

With help of counselors at ELS, Alex will use the swing to develop his motion skills and muscle control, Gilbertson said.

“We chose Alex because we thought his situation was the one most in need,” she said. “We have specific equipment for him and we knew what our donations were going toward.”

She said the specific destination of the funds made the idea of purchasing a swing for Alex appealing because Cable 8 can donate the item directly to a member of the community.

Community and campus organizations have contributed $800 to the event so far, Gilbertson said. Cable 8 will collect donations prior to the event, and any organization that donates will have a 15 to 30 second commercial aired during the telethon, courtesy of Cable 8.

“They’re not just donating,” Gilbertson said. “We can give them our services in return.”

The telethon will air Feb. 17. Cable 8 representatives will hand out information and collect donations in the Compton Union Building Wednesdays before the event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Gilbertson said they are trying to make the telethon a community event to help Alex.

“I got to watch him and how he interacts with the other counselors,” she said. “He had so much personality and I thought he’d be perfect to sponsor as a beneficiary.”

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