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Celebrating Children’s Hospitals Week 2019


Valley Children’s Hospital participated in the annual #ChildrensHospitalsWeek, conference from March 18-24, 2019, in Orlando, FL. The purpose of Children’s Hospitals Week is to shine a light on the importance of specialized, high quality pediatric healthcare and to help Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) member hospitals raise funds.

Children’s hospitals like Valley Children’s rely on donations because government and insurance programs do not cover the full cost of caring for kids. Donations fill that funding gap in pediatric health care, providing for advanced-technology equipment, specialized services/treatments, medical research and charitable care.

The week-long celebration recognized everyone who supports children’s healthcare provided at the 170 CMN member hospitals. Corporate partners such as Panda Express, Walmart, ACE Hardware, Marriott, Dairy Queen, Aflac, Credit Union for Kids and RE/MAX were represented. Media partners from radio and TV stations around North America and participants for Dance Marathon and Extra Life programs were also celebrated.

CMN Hospitals President and CEO, John Lauck, shared that in 2018 more than $409.5 million was raised in the U.S. and Canada through the generosity of thousands of people who rounded up their change at the cash register, held fundraising events and donated directly to the cause — a five percent increase from 2017. Since its inception in 1983, CMN has helped raise more than $7 billion for children’s hospitals in North America. Remarkably, an estimated 200 million children have been treated at these hospitals the past 36 years.

Valley Children’s was recognized as one of 53 CMN member hospitals who achieved more than 10 percent increase in fundraising from 2017 to 2018. We also received a special award for launching our very first Dance Marathon in 2018.

Most importantly, Children’s Hospitals Week was about celebrating many miracle kids who have beaten the odds and endured unimaginable medical challenges. Amongst them who attended the conference were:

  • Izabella, who at 14-months old, was one of the youngest patients to receive a heart-lung transplant. Now 8 years old, she is still being monitored, but filled with vigor and continues to defeat the odds.
  • Audrey, diagnosed at 10 months old with neuroblastoma and scoliosis. In remission for more than a decade, Audrey is now 12 years old and dreams to be an actress one day.
  • Allison, 18, suffers from polycystic kidney disease which regularly causes headaches, high blood pressure and abdominal pain and will likely need a kidney transplant. Her world includes so much beyond her disease. Allison is transgender and well-versed and active on issues involving equality.
  • At 4 years old, Samerya had her kidneys removed through her belly button following the diagnosis of a disease that prevented her body from breaking down proteins, caused scarring and swelling. Now 8, she received a new kidney but the syndrome returned and is affecting its function.
  • 5-year-old Kaylee is a leukemia survivor. She was diagnosed at age 3 and completed her chemotherapy in March 2018.

These children exemplify true courage, grit and determination. It is their stories that inspire us to continue to do what we do and to celebrate #childrenshospitalsweek for another 36 years and beyond.