UPDATE:

Saturday’s telethon benefiting JOYA was a huge success.

Donations made during the show hit $11,964.18!Joya’s total for their entire Penny Drive exceeded $46,500.

A huge thank you to the many people who donated!

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

SPOKANE, Wash. - On Saturday morning, KHQ is partnering with Joya Child and Family Development for a telethon. The non-profit pediatric therapy provider is also busy prepping for their annual penny drive event. 

Joya, a re-brand from Spokane Guild's School, offers occupational, physical and speech therapy to up to 300 Spokane County children each year. Their services are tailored to each family's specific needs. While they work with kids from age zero to three, their support and love is felt for years and years to come. Just ask Heidi Kirstein and her 14-year-old son Mikee.

"Mikee has proved everything wrong," she said. "He has excelled and done great."

And they credit much of that to his time at Joya.

"It's been 10 years since he graduated here, and we are still a part of this family," she said. "They gave us hope. This is the foundation of Mikee. When he was born, we were told he wasn't going to make it past three."

Joya was there as the family fought to even find a diagnosis for Mikee. It wasn't until his fifth birthday that they got some, although incredibly painful, answers.

"Mikee has Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC) which mimics cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and strokes," she said. "But it's none of that. Everything that could help those patients, can't help Mikee."

But what he does have in his corner, even years after his last service, is Joya. They have personalized plans. Speech therapy, physical therapy, nutrition, you name it, they will try to do it. 

"What the school did for us is help us go to a doctor's office with confidence, and also helped us know we can push for more than what we were told," Heidi said. "Joya ended up giving us the resources to get him to where he is now."

And that's here. A fun-loving guy, a good friend and brother who surely makes this world a brighter place. 

For more on Joya and ways to give, visit www.joya.org