Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Champion Within

I am both honored & privileged to represent Indiana as a 2011 Champion for Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals. And I am also happy to represent Riley Hospital for Children, to whom I am greatly indebted. All of my doctors & nurses are top notch and they continue to go above & beyond when it comes to my care. My mom says only the best will do for me!!!

I would like to invite you to come along with me & my family on my journey as a champion. Beginning next week, I will visit several Walmart stores throughout the state to celebrate their partnership with Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals while promoting their continuous fundraising efforts. Without their support and donations, CMN hospitals like Riley couldn't do what they do for kids like me. These store appearances will allow us to personally thank Walmart and Sam's Club, along with its employees, for their determination & drive to continually support CMN and Riley Hospital for Children. At these events, I will share my story to allow people to see where their donations are going and how they are helping children in our community.

My battle has been long, but victory will be sweet.
I continue to overcome. I will beat cancer. I am a champion.

Challenge is inevitable.
Defeat is optional.

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.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Olivia's Story

Age 4

Riley Hospital for Children


One of the joys of parenthood is taking countless pictures of your children. But Olivia’s mother noticed something odd about her daughter’s eyes in one of her baby photos and suspected something was wrong.

At 3-months-old Olivia was sent to Riley Hospital for Children where she was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, malignant tumors affecting both of her eyes. Chemotherapy shrunk the tumors in Olivia’s right eye; however, doctors were forced to remove her left.

Olivia has endured more than 30 surgeries to help reduce the remaining tumors in her right eye and, thankfully, no new tumors have been detected. The 4-year-old continues to fight her battle while living an active and normal life. Despite the loss of one eye, she plays sports and loves to ride her bike.

Olivia’s charming personality inspires people around her to support Riley Hospital. She shares her story with her mother at various events and has created art to be auctioned for Riley Children’s Foundation. She’s a powerful advocate for the hospital that is still working to save her young life.