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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wyatt's Story

Wyatt Smith
Age 15

West Virginia
West Virginia University Children’s Hospital

Cystic Fibrosis

Shortly after Wyatt was born, his mother knew something wasn’t right. He weighed very little and no matter how much he ate, Wyatt struggled to gain weight.
At just 6 weeks old, Wyatt was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, an inherited chronic disease that causes lung infections and impaired digestion. This requires him to be on a feeding tube every night, take medications every morning, and use a vibration vest throughout the day to help shake loose the secretions that occur in his lungs.
Although cystic fibrosis will be a life-long battle, research has dramatically increased the life span for many patients. Wyatt regularly visits West Virginia University Children’s Hospital to ensure he remains healthy.
Today, 15-year-old Wyatt enjoys high school and loves hanging out with friends. He’s a typical teenager who loves to play video games, update his Facebook page and has a passion for football, even though cystic fibrosis prevents him from playing it. Wyatt wants everyone to know that people with cystic fibrosis can still live normally, and he’s a testament to