SYDNEY — Wearing a plastic fireman’s hat, Reid Mayich was in his element at the IWK Telethon for Children on Sunday.
A change in Sydney’s broadcast location to Centre 200 this year gave an opportunity for firefighters, paramedics and police officers to showcase their equipment — and the many sirens — to children of all ages.
There were also several antique cars on display at rink level.
“And I like the race cars. They’re there, there and everywhere,” said a talkative four-year-old Mayich.
“The ambulance is so cool, too.”
Mayich, from New Waterford, was chosen as the 2013 Children's Miracle Network Champion, making him the representative at IWK Foundation events over the course of the year.
The little boy, with a big smile, has discolouration on his skin that looks similar to a rash.
He was only five days old when a skin biopsy confirmed he had diffuse cutaneous mastocytosis, a rare condition affecting his immune system, and causing his skin to break out in blisters and hives.
“The doctors say there’s a good chance that he should grow out of it, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed,” said his mother, Margaret Mayich.
She said her son has limitations in what he can do if he gets too hot, hungry, or overtired.
“He would need to take a break in those instances,” she said.
“His skin flares up and it’s like he’s taking a major allergic reaction but it’s just his body’s way of saying, ‘slow down.’”
The Mayich family raises funds throughout the year to support both the IWK Hospital and the Cape Breton Regional Hospital.
When Mayich isn't experiencing a major breakout, a health-care team in Sydney, in partnership with the IWK, monitors his condition.
On Sunday, the family donated $2,320 to the IWK during a live segment on CTV television. A similar amount was raised for the Cape Breton District Health Authority.
Across the Maritimes, the telethon raised $6,154,816.56 for the children’s hospital this weekend.