It is a labor of love that Chileans carry in their hearts. The Crippled Child Aid Society began as a small charity in 1947 and was run by kind-hearted doctors who saw the need to help disabled children. “Doctor Urrutia was the founder of the Aid Society for Disabled Children which later gave birth to the Telethon”, explains Javier Fernandez, who was treated as a child.
The Teleton was officially born in Chile in 1978 after television presenter Mario Kreutzberger, better known as Don Francisco, saw how two famous Hollywood comedians managed to put aside their professional disputes for a good cause. “Somehow Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis got together after a son got sick and they had a telethon to raise money for people who had disabled children,” says Maria del Carmen Errázuriz, known as “Tati”, responsible for the Telethon in Miami.
Inspired by this work, Don Francisco organized a fundraising event for the treatment of children with disabilities and then convinced all the television stations in Chile to come together to broadcast it live simultaneously. “The telethon has 14 centers throughout Chile where they care for children with neuromotor disabilities,” Errázuriz explains.
Magdalena Ortuzar and her husband Sebastian Goicolea know firsthand the work of the Telethon.
“Many years ago, 16, 17 years ago, with Matías, my second son, we had to use the Teletón, in Puerto Montt, Chile. We had to enter because he had a deprogramming of motor functions, ”says Goicolea. Grateful, the family today helped organize an event in the courtyard of their Key Biscayne home to raise money for the telethon. This is one of many initiatives organized by South Florida Chileans to contribute to a foundation that means so much to them.
A family bike ride was also organized in Weston to raise funds and pass this tradition on to the next generation. In attendance were Telemundo 51 meteorologist Luis Carrera and journalist Myriam Masihy. “For all Chileans, especially for those who receive medical treatment, the Teletón is not something that we only support at the end of the year, it is something that happens every day”, explains Carrera. You will find below the methods of contribution to the Telethon for the whole year.
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