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

Colbie and Kenna's Story

Colbie and Kenna
Age 3

St. Rose-Siena Hospital

Premature Birth

Colbie and Kenna became fighters the day their mom’s water broke at 23 weeks gestation. Doctors were able to delay their birth for 12 more days—which allowed their organs to further develop—before they made their entrance into the world as micro preemies. These twin sisters were born four months early, each weighing no more than one pound six ounces.

They spent almost four months in the NICU at St. Rose-Siena Hospital and received blood transfusions, fought off infections and struggled to gain weight. Kenna’s biggest obstacle was her weak lungs; it could take weeks to fight off an infection. Colbie, on the other hand, could breathe fairly well but her digestive system caused her all kinds of trouble and she struggled to gain weight.

“As a father, it is comforting to know that if my girls are tough enough to do what they’ve done, they’re tough enough to get through anything,” Geoff, Colbie and Kenna’s dad.

Although Colbie still struggles to gain weight and Kenna’s lungs still have trouble fighting off infections, these twin sisters live life like normal 3-year-olds. Colbie loves everybody and tells jokes to make people laugh. She is nicknamed “The Professor” because of her extensive vocabulary. Kenna is a tiny tornado who can’t stop moving. She is a natural athlete and loves to run, climb, throw and wrestle whenever possible.