Meeting Street Telethon to feature Dartmouth talent
When Brayden Garcia was born, he spent his first few months of life in the hospital. The Dartmouth boy was diagnosed with Down syndrome and numerous health problems affecting his mobility, necessitating long hospital stays.
Now four years old, he has made what his parents describe as remarkable progress thanks to the Schwartz Center for Children in Dartmouth, where he receives regular rehabilitative treatment and attends school.
“His bones were so fragile he actually broke his femur and he was in a full body cast for eight weeks,” his father Ben Garcia said. “From then to now it’s been unbelievable. When he first started going to the [Schwartz Center] he couldn’t even move in his Pacer. Now he’s getting around self-propelled.”
He’s also about to add television host to his resume, as he prepares for his duties as one of two co-hosts of the annual Meeting Street Telethon, which raises funds to support both the Dartmouth and Providence, Rhode Island’s location’s mission to support children with special needs.
It’s also not his first time on television. In 2015, Brayden appeared in a segment of the telethon highlighting the Schwartz Center’s rehabilitative programming.
More than the opportunity to be on television, however, is the ability to share how Meeting Street and the Schwartz Center touched Brayden’s life and his family.
“We don’t let his disability define who he is,” Garcia said. “He defines himself, and what the Schwartz Center does is they help him find himself.”
During the telethon, Brayden will be joined by another young Dartmouth star: Bryce Clancy.
The first-grader was first introduced to the center and its work after appearing in a commercial for AFC Urgent Care in New Bedford. After a personal tour of the Dartmouth facility, he became determined to help out in any way he could.
“I didn’t know a lot about these kids, but once I saw them, I was like, I want to help,” Clancy said.
Last year, he raised more than $2,000 on his own. This year, in addition to his hosting duties, he hopes to exceed that amount.
Clancy will also host a pre-telethon radio drive, which will be broadcast from Sunrise Bakery on Dartmouth Street. It will air on January 26 from 5-10 a.m. on FUN 107.
The Meeting Street Telethon will be broadcast live from the Dartmouth and Providence locations on January 27 on WPRI 12 and FOX Providence from 7-11 p.m. The Dartmouth location will be open from 6:30-9:30 p.m. for events.
For more information or to donate ahead of time, visit meetingstreet.org/telethon.