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May 13, 2016

Maverick's Top Seven Favorite Fenway Moments

When you meet Maverick Schutte, he's likely to ask you to name your top seven favorite superheroes, baseball players and even French fries. And then he'll tell you his. 

At the top of his baseball players' list is his hero, Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz (Big Papi), whom he recently met at Fenway Park. It was an opportunity of a lifetime for the 6-year-old from Cheyenne, Wyoming, who was born with a complex congenital heart defect. In a few weeks, he'll undergo his fourth open heart surgery at Children's Hospital Colorado

Before playing the Yankees a few weeks prior, Ortiz promised Maverick he would hit a home run for him [hyperlink to video]. And Ortiz delivered [hyperlink to video]. "Big Papi, you never let me down," Maverick told him. At Fenway, Ortiz presented Maverick with the now infamous home run ball. 

In honor of Maverick's top 7 lists, we give you...

Mavericks' Top Seven Favorite Fenway Moments

1. Meeting my hero, Big Papi.

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2. Trying on Wally the Green Monster's hat.

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3. Signing the Pesky Pole.

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4. Spending time with my second-favorite baseball player, Kevin Millar.

Millar gave Maverick a tour of Fenway, including a look behind the infamous Green Monster, and then joined Millar on his MLB Network show, Intentional Talk. Maverick's story, including his adventures at Fenway, will be featured on the show at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 12. 

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5. Throwing out the first pitch.

There were big cheers from the crowd when the Red Sox introduced Maverick. Joining him for the first pitch were Millar and Ortiz. 

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6. Staying in the Custom House in downtown Boston.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals partner Marriott Vacations Worldwide donated accommodations and provided first-class service. Maverick could see all of Boston Harbor from his window.

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7. Sharing the day with my family.

Maverick' family shares his love for the Red Sox. In fact, his mom and stepfather were married in Red Sox jerseys. 

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 Maverick is one of more than 10 million kids treated each year at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Donations help him live a better life. Give at cmnh.co/Maverick


Photos courtesy of Rich Ryan Photography, Boston, Mass.

Carl Edwards Visits Children's Hospital On His Way To Race For CMN Hospitals

After visiting dozens of children this afternoon at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, MD, Carl Edwards and the No.19 STANLEY race team head into Dover International Speedway this Sunday with a million reasons to find a way to win.

As part of the continued “Racing for a Miracle” program, Edwards and the No. 19 STANLEY team spent the afternoon playing games, giving pit stop demonstrations and sharing smiles with the children of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. It was a welcome experience for the young patients who show immeasurable strength on a daily basis. It was just the reminder that the team needed before preparing for Sunday’s race with an extra incentive. If Edwards and the No. 19 team win, STANLEY will donate $1 million to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through the Ace Hardware Foundation.

The pledge is part of the most successful and longest-running campaign in NASCAR that benefits patients of 150 children’s hospitals across the United States. The “Racing for a Miracle” program with STANLEY and the Ace Hardware Foundation will once again pledge $100,000 to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. It’s a total contribution of over a million dollars since the program started to help member hospitals and local children.

Follow the event at #Racing4Miracles. For more information on the “Racing for a Miracle” program, including more ways to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, visit http://www.stanleyracing.com

May 10, 2016

Congratulations, Champion Graduates! UPDATED

This spring, young adults across North America will cross the stage to accept diplomas, on their way to starting the next phase of their lives. Several Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champions will be attending their own commencement ceremonies. What sets these individuals apart from their fellow graduates is the journey they have undergone as a result of a medical condition. Meet some of our graduating Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champions below.

Kyle Stepp, 2011 New Mexico Champion

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For the last five years we’ve watched Kyle grow from an ambitious teenager to a seasoned advocate for children’s hospitals. This spring, Kyle is graduating from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication and Integrative Studies for Innovation. As the 2015 UNM Homecoming King, 2016 UNM Greek Man of the Year and 2016 Clauve Outstanding Senior Awardee, we think it’s safe to say Kyle has had an incredible year. Kyle will also be addressing his fellow students as the Class of 2016 University of New Mexico Spring Commencement Keynote Speaker. Following graduation, he’ll begin his post with the national staff for the Alpha Tau Omega National Fraternity. He hopes his time with ATO is followed by a career at a children’s hospital where he can continue his advocacy for kids. We can’t wait to see what the next five years has in store for Kyle.

UPDATE: Kyle's commencement speech

Keegan Passos, 2014 Hawaii Champion

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Keegan will be graduating on May 19 from Waipahu High School in Waipahu, Hawaii. He is interested in attending massage therapy school where he can develop therapeutic skills to help hospitalized children cope with stress. Keegan also plans to continuing his advocacy on behalf of CMN Hospitals and being a mentor for Kardiac Kids, a support group in Keegan’s community for families with children born with heart disease. Keegan’s medical journey is not quite over: he has another cardiac catheterization coming up in June. The confidence he gained while being a Champion has made him strong – he’ll continue to stay positive in the face of medical adversity.

Chiann Wheeler, 2015-16 California Champion

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If graduating a year early doesn’t demonstrate Chiann’s ambitious attitude, we don’t know what does. The aspiring child psychologist didn’t let a setback with toxic shock syndrome stop her from completing her secondary school curriculum early. Not only that, Chiann’s future plans hardly involve taking time off from her studies and goals. “My goal is to educate young women on what toxic shock is,” she stated. Crediting her role as a CMN Hospitals Champion for affording her the opportunity to build her confidence, Chiann has already begun her advocacy for the condition by approaching local school administrators to plan lecture presentations.

Justyn Jenkins, 2015-16 West Virginia Champion

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Nothing can stop Justyn from becoming a computer programmer and (video) game designer. The senior, set to cross the Robert C Byrd High School commencement stage on June 19 in Clarksburg, West Virginia, got a jump start on his career by successfully completing the school's special track of computer courses. Justyn seized the opportunity to gain as much knowledge as he could in the field he hopes to one day work in. We know with his perseverance and dedication to his education, that day will come for Justyn much sooner than later.

 

Join us in congratulating all our graduating Champions. Hip, hip, hooray!

May 09, 2016

Calling Creative Kids: Design the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Float for the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade

To raise awareness about the importance of donating to children’s hospitals, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is joining the iconic 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. This high-profile event is viewed annually by millions on multiple television networks.

Pediatric patients treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in the U.S. are encouraged to submit float designs, depicting the parade theme: “Echoes of Success*” (description below). Consider how you define success in your life? Who or what helped get you there? These echoes help make us who we are.

Submitting artists also should include the following information about their design and themselves:
• Artist’s name
• Age (on Jan. 2, 2017)
• Address
• Phone number
• Children’s Miracle Network Hospital where treated
• Illness/Injury
• Why your children’s hospital is important to you and your care
• Photo (to be used when announcing the selected design)
• Name of conceptual design
• A written explanation of your design and details about the decision process

The creator of the selected design will receive:
• The opportunity to have his or her design featured in the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade.
• All-expense-paid trip to the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 2, 2017 with three guests.

Designs must be submitted to: roseparadedesign@cmnhospitals.org or to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Rose Parade Design, 205 West 700 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, and received by June 4, 2016.

The fine print. The selected design will be used to inspire the final floral design for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ float. Designs will be accepted by children 18 years of age and younger as of Jan. 2, 2017, and who are patients treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

*Echoes of Success
The 2017 Pasadena Tournament of Roses theme, "Echoes of Success," tells the story of how our character has developed through the selfless contributions of others and celebrates their inspirational gifts. It is a celebration for those people, institutions and organizations that help in the success of others.

Our successes are unique to each of us. Success is not gauged by the final score, not by how much wealth we accumulate and should not be weighed against the accomplishments of others. Success is measured by our own personal satisfaction in knowing that we achieved our utmost by doing our best when facing challenges.

But success cannot be achieved alone. We need the support and influences of others. Family, teachers, friends and coaches contribute to our success. The cheering section at the finish line. The hospital volunteers. The teacher who stays after school to help a struggling student. The parents who drive to all of the soccer games. The little sister who says, “you can do it.”

These influences in our lives, these people of selfless commitment, these “Echoes of Success” make us who we are. The 2017 theme celebrates those who have been instrumental in helping each of us and in helping others achieve success. It’s about the people and cultures that lend us a hand in reaching our destination.

Examples of float designs from last year’s parade, themed “Find Your Adventure:”

Float - Kiehl's

Float - Miracle Gro

Float - Real California Milk

May 08, 2016

Happy Mother's Day. #MiracleMom

#MiracleMom Desiree gets the recognition she deserves. Shop limited-edition Miracle products at Chico's, White House Black Market and Soma Intimates and support kids treated at CMN Hospitals: chicosfas-cares.com

May 06, 2016

Thank you, Nurses.

May 6 to May 12 is National Nurses Week and to help celebrate the amazing work being done by nurses at our 170 member children's hospitals, we asked our Miracle Kids and Moms to share about their favorite nurse(s):

Hannah

"Ashley has been my nurse, best friend and sister since I was three. She has always been there for me and is such an amazing person! Last April I was even a bridesmaid in her wedding!" - Miracle Child Hannah treated at Batson Children's Hospital at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

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"This is Mateo with his all time favorite nurse, Carlos at Peace Health Sacred Heart Medical Center at River bend. Nurse Carlos is amazing with kids and an incredible person! Having him as our nurse always made admissions just a little bit easier!" - Miracle Mom Kayla

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"Our favorites are our home-care nurses because they spent so much time with us and Ikaika, and still do fun things together, though we no longer need home care nursing. One of them is also an ER nurse, and we love that because we know we'll always be taken care of if we visit the ER. Nurses are awesome and Melissa is one of the BEST!" - Miracle Mom Amanda

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"Dayna started taking care of Evan when he was just 6 months old at Hasbro Children's Hospital. Dayna is the most caring and wonderful woman we know, and she has become family. We are blessed she came into our lives 16 years ago. And look forward to the years ahead!" - Miracle Mom Julie

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"Amanda, Dayton's cajun nurse in the PICU at Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital is one of many we love!" - Miracle Mom Katie

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"Nurse Lynette is amazing, so much fun, sweet, makes any appointment or surgery not as hard, and she always makes Yszabehl feel safe ♡♡♡ she is the BEST! (This is with her surgeon too. We've been with them over 7 years and through 5 surgeries so far at Freeman Health System)." - Miracle Mom Amee

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"We love Nurse Erin, Max's nurse at Children's Hospital Colorado, in the Oncology/Blood Disease department. Here is a shot of her (on the right) delivering a surprise birthday cake to Max during a chemo appointment." - Miracle Mom Lolly

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"Although Drew had many favorite nurses, Sarah had a special bond with him. She was funny and always put a smile on his face, even though he was in so much pain. She even came up on her day off to sit with him so my husband and I could go to a special function for our daughter. She was extremely instrumental in his recovery. This is a picture of his first day outside after being in the PICU at Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart for a month. She will forever be a part of our family!" - Miracle Mom Wendy

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"Nurse Mindy was Brenna's "primary" day nurse in the NICU at HSHS St. John's Children's Hospital, and we grew very close with her as she cared for our daughter during her most critical days. Mindy was incredibly sensitive not only to Brenna's rare condition but to our needs, hopes and fears as well. Mindy embodies the field of nursing, as she is so kind, compassionate and extremely smart; we feel so fortunate to have had her on our medical team!" - Miracle Mom Courtney

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"When asked who his favorite nurse was, Logan immediately said Thea. But he added that he has had many great nurses though his journey. Thea was Logan's first flight and even though Logan was an infant he can tell by the pictures and letters from her over the years how much she truly cares for him. Thea recently retired from being a NICU flight nurse after doing it for 19 years, but still remains nursing in the NICU at Children's Hospital Colorado." - Miracle Mom Tennille

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"I couldn't just give one name because all of the nurses in this picture have their own relationship with JaKiah. These ladies made our weekly visits for chemo treatments bearable. They always made sure JaKiah was comfortable. As you can see they always picked her up no matter what. They are rooting for her to remain cancer free as much as we are as her parents. They're in pins and needles just like us every time we go in for her check up. She was definitely getting waited on hand and foot and while some of these ladies are no longer in the clinic because they've moved to the Hemoc/Onc floor at Arkansas Children's Hospital we will never forget them. Each and every one of them are and will forever be honorary Collins." - Miracle Mom Crystal

 Thank you to all the nurses who help make miracles happen for the 10 million kids treated annually at 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. 

May 05, 2016

Guest Post: A #MiracleMom’s Story

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In honor of Mother's Day, one "Miracle Mom" shares her experience with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals via Remax.

It was June 23, 2013. After years of infertility, my husband and I were welcoming our triplets into this world. What should have been the most beautiful day of my life turned into a chaotic and bittersweet day as I delivered my babies more than 17 weeks premature. As I look back at this day, which is forever etched into my heart and memory, I can't help but smile. My children wouldn't have been given a chance at life if we weren't at St. John's Children's Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, a Children's Miracle Network Hospital.

At this hospital, I celebrated the happiest day of my life, along with the two darkest days I've ever experienced. My children were born at 22 weeks 6 days, not even considered viable by most hospitals in our country. Yet the neonatologists were ready, in case my children showed signs of life. My daughter, Abigail, died a few hours after birth. Her brother, Parker, lived his entire 55 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Our lone survivor, Peyton, is the definition of a Miracle Child. After spending nearly four months in the NICU, she's alive and thriving at close to 3 years old.

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The NICU can be a scary place. For some babies, it's a brief stop on their way home. For others, like Peyton and Parker, it becomes their home. My husband and I spent every waking hour at St. John's Children's Hospital, oftentimes sitting bedside at our children's isolettes, not able to even touch our babies because they were too weak. At just over a pound each, we never expected our babies to survive. But the doctors and nurses gave us hope every single day. And even as Parker died in our arms at nearly 2 months old, the staff provided us comfort. People often ask me how I return to a hospital where two of my children died. It's easy — the hospital staff became family. Because of top-notch medical care, each of our triplets were born alive. And even though two of our babies lived just a short life, those few memories at the hospital will last us a lifetime.

As a television news anchor, I've spent years volunteering for children's organizations and interviewing families with unique stories. Never in a million years did I expect to someday become one of those families. But I feel so blessed to be part of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals family. You never understand the benefit of a CMN Hospital until you find yourself in need of one. For my family, we saw firsthand how donations to CMN Hospitals are being used. What may seem like a simple reclining chair is so much more to a NICU family. For us, that's where we first held our 1-pound babies, giving us that moment where we finally felt like a family. After the NICU journey, our surviving triplet visited the follow-up clinic, where doctors checked her development. Those rooms funded by CMN Hospitals may look like a typical exam room, but for us it's so much more. It's symbolic of how far our Miracle Child has come.

Today, our daughter Peyton is not only a survivor, she's a walking miracle. As a "22-weeker," she's the youngest baby to survive at our hospital. As I watched Peyton recently dance at a CMN Hospitals event, I couldn't help but tear up. She has defied the odds, conquering every uphill battle that has come her way. She's not only beautiful and full of energy, she's healthy. And it's all because of St. John's Children's Hospital. 

Since partnering with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in 1992, RE/MAX agents have raised more than $147 million for the charity's 170 member hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. Donations help fund pediatric medical equipment and treatments, healthcare services and charitable care. Learn more by visiting www.cmnhospitals.org/. You can follow Stacey's journey as a Miracle Mom on her blog, "Perfectly Peyton."

May 03, 2016

Miracle Home Run

It was the bottom of the eighth, "Big Papi" David Ortiz, a veteran Red Sox player was 0-7 and lined up to bat when he wowed the crowd at Fenway Park and kept his promise to a young boy thousands of miles away in Wyoming.

Thanks to friend of CMN Hospitals and retired MLB player Kevin Millar, video messages between Maverik and Big Papi were shared - that's when #34 promised a home run - and he kept that promise. 

For Maverik, a Red Sox fan since before he could walk, Big Papi's home run meant everything. Maverik is the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals 2014 Wyoming Champion. He has been battling a congenital heart defect and is due for another open heart surgery in the near future at Children's Hospital Colorado. Thanks to Kevin and Big Papi for brightening his day!

Support kids like Maverik, by giving to your local Children's Miracle Network Hospital: cmnhospitals.org.

Apr 22, 2016

Earth Day Celebrated at Member Hospital in Maine

Every year, communities across the planet come together to inspire, challenge ideas, ignite passion and motivate people to take action for Earth Day. Children's hospitals are no exception as evidenced by the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. This member Children's Miracle Network Hospital began recycling it’s food scraps in 2015 in partnership with We Compost It!, a composting company based in Maine.

The program involves the collection of organics includes food scraps generated in the preparation of food, leftover food that is not consumed by staff, visitors and patients as well as napkins, wooden stir sticks, etc. Since 2015, over 100 tons of leftover organics have been diverted from the waste stream and turned into organic compost

In celebration of Earth Day/Week, BBCH patients participated in a seed planting activity using the organic compost that The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center helped to produce.

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How are you observing Earth Day? Tell us in the comments.

Apr 19, 2016

Second Annual Miss America Serves Day Raises Funds for CMN Hospitals

On April 16th, Miss America contestants and volunteers joined forces and participated in the 2nd annual Miss America Serves day by taking part in community service activities all while collecting donations for their local Children's Miracle Network Hospital. We loved following #MissAmericaServes on social media to see the inspiring things happening in communities across the United States:

The Teddy Bear Ball was MORE than anything I could have ever imagined. To serve the kiddos at Children's today with these lovely ladies was a true honor. To visit little patients and their families, watch them light up and smile, get to know them, and hopefully help them feel better for at least today snuggling with a teddy bear by their side was the Teddy Bear Ball's mission all along. To actually live it today, and have such meaningful moments with kiddos undergoing cancer treatments, kiddos without family able to visit, kiddos who spend holidays in bed, and kiddos who don't feel well enough to go tonight as we all did was a humbling and blessed experience. Miss America Serves day was a true success, and I think we are all changed after today because of those little faces and hearts at Children's Hospital Colorado. Thank you to those who donated, those who shared our posts, those who supported this event, and all of the volunteers who went with us today. #MissAmericaServes #CO

A photo posted by Kelley Johnson (@realnursekelley) on

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