The 55th annual Variety Kids telethon, in support of Women and Children’s Hospital, takes place on Sunday, April 2.
This year’s celebrity twins are Kelly and Kyle Hoffman.
Kelly and Kyle show us how big things often come in small packages and how far they can go, with a little help.
You might not be able to imagine how far the six-year-old twins have come.
“They were 10 weeks early and they only weighted 2 lbs, 9 oz,” says Stacy Hoffman, the twins’ mother.
The twins’ parents, Stacy and Brian, will never forget the first moments of their babies' lives.
“They went right on to ventilators because they couldn't breathe on their own, feeding tubes, and we really couldn't hold them for the first three days,” says Stacy. ”My heart just broke for them because they struggled.”
“It was overwhelming. Certain times we would look at the monitor and they would stop breathing. We'd have to go rub their back. Gets them to breathe again, the little things you learn as you're there,” says Brian.
But the resilient duo pushed through, getting stronger and stronger each day, making their way out of the Sister's Hospital NICU after about two months. Still, there were more challenges ahead.
When she was two years old, Kelly was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Since then, she's spent countless hours at Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo.
"The therapists there are wonderful. They know how to get children to do the necessary things to get them on track," said Stacy. "We still have hurdles that you have to overcome, but we just take them day by day.”
Hurdles - like learning to walk without any help. The Hoffman’s have been tracking Kelly's progress, literally, with tape marks on their living room floor.
“I've learned as a parent you have to celebrate the little things. And the little milestones other people take for granted,” says Stacy.
So when the chance came for the family to give back by being this year's celebrity family for the Variety Club Telethon, they jumped at it.
“Every year we watch the telethon,” said Stacy. “I always think, that story relates so much to us. Everything that family has been through, we have been through as well.”
They're hoping to help raise as much money as possible to help other kids like Kelly and Kyle, because even the most basic things get costly.
“You take a regular stroller, you put a couple things on there to help a kiddo out who has special needs, all of a sudden it's a medical-grade equipment, and it's very expensive,” says Stacy.
Stacy and Brian say they're looking forward to everything the future holds for their son and daughter.
“Everything they have been through I think has helped them to form who they are today,” said Stacy.