Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champions

Champions is a Children's Miracle Network Hospitals program that brings attention to the important work being done at its 170 children’s hospitals. It does this by honoring 51 remarkable kids who have faced severe medical challenges, and helping them tell their stories.

The Champions program designates a child in every state who has bravely battled a serious injury or illness. The Champions represent the nearly 17 million children treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals every year. The 2011 Champions have dealt with a wide variety of injuries and illnesses including genetic diseases, organ transplants and traumas, as well as various types of cancer.

The Champions travel for a week in October, first to Washington, D.C., where they traditionally meet with their state senators on Capitol Hill, and the President of the United States during a visit to the White House. They then take a private chartered flight, provided by Delta Air Lines, to Orlando, Fla. There, champions meet Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals sponsors, hospital representatives and media partners who all convene to celebrate a year of medical miracles during the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Celebration event at Walt Disney World Resort.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Emily's Story

Age 11

Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

Cerebral Palsy

Tenacious. That’s the word that best describes Emily, who has tackled a lifetime of medical challenges.

When she was born, seemingly lifeless, doctors rushed to resuscitate her. But the time Emily went without oxygen caused permanent damage to her brain. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at just a year old. Initially, Emily’s parents received a grim prognosis. “Doctors told us to take her home and keep her comfortable, because she would never walk, talk or function,” says Emily’s mom.

Instead, Emily’s parents found Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare and a specialist in pediatric rehabilitation medicine. “He told us to get Emily into therapy right away, because she had the potential to achieve all kinds of things,” recalls Emily’s mom.

Thanks to that early intervention, Emily, now 11, has made significant progress. Treatments have enabled her to walk with the help of a walker and leg braces. Though cerebral palsy affects her speech, she communicates well.

Despite her difficulty communicating, Emily rarely becomes frustrated and constantly pushes herself to achieve more. Her family knows Emily will never allow her disability to interfere with her many dreams and goals.