Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Our Walmart Launch!

On Monday afternoon, we officially announced that Kelsey is the South Dakota CMN Champion! 

A few family members were there along with a good sized crowd of Walmart employees. They had a huge cake with Kelsey's picture and Tootsie Rolls- one of Kelsey's favorite candies! 

Kelsey's favorite part was passing out the cake. She loves being a helper! Even MORE than eating cake! 

Mark, our store manager was there and after informing the group of just how much Walmart cares about our community, they presented our family with a gift card to use to prepare for our trip! What a huge surprise! We have no idea how we will spend it yet, but as avid Walmart shoppers, I'm sure we'll find a way!

I was so happy to hear that our Walmart store has been a huge support of Children's Miracle Network. I think Mark said that they donated about $29,000 just last year. Awesome! 

I want to extend a warm THANK YOU to Walmart stores and their employees for making Kelsey (as well as the rest of our family) feel very special!! 

We are very excited to share our experience with you!

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

Kelsey's Story

Age 7

South Dakota
Rapid City Regional Hospital Foundation

Chromosomal Abnormality

When Kelsey was born, right away there were clues that there was something terribly wrong. None of her symptoms compared to any other syndrome doctors had encountered. After months of investigation, geneticists discovered a duplication of a portion of one of Kelsey’s 12th chromosomes. Kelsey had congenital hip dysplasia that resulted in three surgeries and heart defects that required open heart surgery at age 2.

There has never been another documented case of this exact abnormality.

Truly one of a kind, Kelsey and her family have celebrated every milestone of her development. The chromosomal abnormality has affected her mental development, eye development, bone formation, muscle tone and coordination/ balance. Despite her challenges, Kelsey comes out of every procedure or treatment declaring with exuberance, “all done!”

At the age of 7, Kelsey has endured more than most kids, but unless you saw her scars, you would never know it. She is a tender-hearted girl that loves to make everyone around her happy. She is sweet and outgoing, and the littlest things make her genuinely excited.