Monday, March 15, 2010

Abby's Story

Age 5
Multiple Birth Defects

Kentucky Children's Hospital

Everything about 5-year-old Abby radiates joy. She's so happy that on the rare occasions when she's not smiling, it's clear something is wrong. Her parents have to rely on physical clues like these, because Abby cannot communicate verbally.

Before Abby was born, doctors discovered heart and stomach defects. Immediately after birth, Abby was transported to Kentucky Children's Hospital for the first of 25 developmental surgeries in just two years. It wasn't until Abby was 40 days old that she was diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome.

CHARGE stands for Coloboma of the eye, Heart defects, Atresia of the choanae, Retardation of growth and/or development, Genital and/or urinary abnormalities, and ear abnormalities and deafness. Because of these birth defects, Abby has hearing and vision loss, balance issues, swallowing and breathing problems, and other developmental challenges.

But Abby has no idea how different she is compared to other children. She walks right up to anyone, with a little help, with that same aura of happiness. She's learning sign language and communicates with such personality you can't help but take notice. She encompasses multiple strengths in her tiny body. With all her positivity, there's no doubt she'll keep cheerfully conquering obstacles.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

About Walmart and Sam’s Club

Wal-Mart has supported Children’s Miracle Network since 1987. Since then, Children’s Miracle Network and Wal-Mart have worked tirelessly together to help children by raising money for children’s hospitals. Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, customers and members have raised more than $500 million for children’s hospitals during the 23 year relationship. This is the second year Walmart and Sam’s Club have sponsored the Champions program.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Champions presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club

Champions presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club is a Children's Miracle Network program that brings attention to the important work being done at children’s hospitals by honoring remarkable children who have faced severe medical challenges.

The Champions program designates a champion 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 2010 champions have dealt with a wide variety of injuries and illnesses including genetic diseases, heart transplants and traumas, as well as life-threatening staph infections.

As part of Champions presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club, the champions travel for a week in June to Washington, D.C., where champions traditionally meet with their state senators on Capitol Hill, and the President of the United States during a visit to the White House. The family then travels to Orlando, Fla., for a second week in November. There, champions meet Children’s Miracle Network sponsor, hospital and media partners who all convene to celebrate a year of medical miracles during the Children’s Miracle Network Celebration event at Walt Disney World Resort.