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Feb 19, 2015

Good luck, Disney Princess Half Participants!

Today marks the official start of the 2015 Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. We are excited and proud to kick off our 2nd annual year as presenting sponsor and celebratory charity. Below are stories of a few runners who have gone above and beyond their fundraising goals - we send a special thank you to them and to all the runners who are helping make miracles happen for local kids!


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From running to recovery, ‪#‎MiracleMom‬ Dana wants her daughter to know that anything is possible. She'll be running the Run Disney ‪#‎PrincessHalf‬ in honor of Dylan and the challenges she's overcome due to hemiparesis.

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Miracle Mom Holly will be running her fifth Run Disney ‪#‎PrincessHalf‬ Marathon, in honor of her son’s sixth birthday and a daughter lost at 3 months of age. Holly runs to support her local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for the lifesaving care they provided for Ashton, a 25-week micro preemie, who is now active in karate, soccer and loves Ninja Turtles.

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Angela spent much of her childhood in and out of Seattle Children's Hospital after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11. The disease continued to take its toll into adulthood, deteriorating her vision, leaving her unable to see her husband’s face as she walked down the aisle at their wedding in 2004.

Fortunately, Angela was able to take control of her condition; she defied the odds when she had her first of two children. She runs the Run Disney #PrincessHalf Marathon to thank the many hospital heroes that helped her get stronger in hopes of preventing other kids from enduring the medical challenges she faced.

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Blair, director, Dance Marathon at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, says she is running for a few 'princesses' she had the honor of getting to know through Dance Marathon. Blair says, "I run for them because I believe our passion is rooted in sharing stories - those of kids experiencing pediatric illness and injury - and I could not be more appreciative of the ways in which the Disney Princess Half Marathon has fostered this spirit. I never dreamed of being a princess, but I run so kids across North America can get the world-class treatment they need to make their dreams come true." 

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“I am running to help all the families I have seen though the years but couldn’t help.” Tisa Daniels is one of thousands gearing up for this weekend's Disney ‪#‎PrincessHalf‬ Marathon with Run Disney. We're wishing all participants a great run.

Ready, set, go!

 

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, presenting sponsor and celebratory charity of the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend, will be cheering Dana, Holly, Angela, Blair, Tisa and the 310 other runners who have raised more than $374,000 for CMN Hospitals. Learn more at: http://cmnh.co/jq

Feb 02, 2015

DIY: #WhoGetsMyHeart Valentine's Day Printable

Who are you giving your heart to this Valentine’s Day? Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is making spreading your love as easy as 1-2-3.

1. Watch this video for inspiration. There are many ways to design custom heart printables for your valentines.

 

2. Download and print your Valentine’s Day card printable. Click on the link below and right-click to save the image to your computer.

 Valentine's Day Printable
 

3. Create unique and personalized cards with supplies from around the house or from a local craft store. Here are a few examples of Valentine’s Day card masterpieces to get your creativity flowing:

Valentine's Day Printables

 

Share your creations on social media with #WhoGetsMyHeart for all the world to see!

Jan 08, 2015

A Letter from John Lauck: ‘Walmart Associates’ Founders Award

By John Lauck, president and CEO of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

This year, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals gave our highest award to some very special supporters, ones who are making a huge difference in the lives of local kids: Walmart associates. 

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The CMN Hospitals Founders’ Award is given to top children’s hospital advocates, and past recipients have included Roy Disney, longtime senior executive at The Walt Disney Company; Bill Marriott, chairman of Marriott International; and Arnold Palmer, legendary professional golfer.

We honored the 1.4 million associates of Walmart and Sam’s Club in the U.S. and Canada with the Founder’s Award for the millions they raise, one dollar at a time, every year to help local children’s hospitals help local kids.

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In addition to supporting the annual “Miracle Balloon” campaign in which customers and members are invited to make a donation at the cash register, many Walmart and Sam’s Club associates have volunteered their time in unique ways: sewing newborn hats, hosting carnivals for patients or even making personal contributions. Collectively, associates’ efforts have raised more than $740 million since 1987 – an amount that adds up to life-saving improvements in children’s healthcare.

It is difficult to put into words how much the support of these dedicated men and women means to the kids and their families our hospitals treat. I have been able to meet many associates who passionately do all they can to help kids when they need it most—kids like Belle.

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Soon after being born, Belle was diagnosed with a serious kidney disorder. At age 5, Belle's kidneys began to fail, and dialysis was administered. Luckily, both parents were donor matches. They decided mom Michelle would provide her kidney, pending a full body exam. Doctors discovered Michelle had two malignant breast tumors just in time, and intense radiation and chemotherapy led to remission.

Dad Kyle stepped in as donor, and today they're all thriving - with Belle loving Disney princesses, dancing, cheerleading and becoming a whiz at the piano.

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CMN Hospitals funds raised by Walmart associates have supported Belle’s hospital's highly ranked transplant program, where she received the majority of her care since infancy.

I believe Walmart associates’ support of local kids like Belle shows they are living a philosophy Helen Walton once shared: “It’s not what you gather in life but what you scatter that tells the kind of life you have lived.”

The 10 million kids our hospitals treat, and their parents, can’t thank them enough.

Jan 07, 2015

CU Direct Gives $60,000 in Donations to Celebrate 20-Year Anniversary

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CU Direct, the nation’s leading provider of lending, automotive and strategic solutions to the credit union industry, celebrated its recent 20th anniversary with a special contest resulting in $60,000 donated to six Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

The contest, which garnered 375,000 votes, received an overwhelming response prompting CU Direct to award two hospitals $20,000 each plus a $5,000 consolation prize to four additional hospitals, instead of the originally intended single prize of $20,000. 

The winning hospitals include:

CU Direct Winners

The contest prompted subsequent support from local donors, including a $20,000 donation from a Hurley Children's Hospital doctor in Flint, Mich. and donation matches from local area credit unions.

Congratulations are due to the winning hospitals as is a note of gratitude to CU Direct for their charitable contribution in honor of 20 years of business.

Dec 31, 2014

Five Miracles Moments of 2014

The confetti from celebrating 30 years of making miracles barely had time to settle before we hit the ground running, in January. Twelve months of hard work by our Network constituents has culminated into another incredible reflection of a year's worth activities that further our mission to raise $1 billion annually, by 2022.

Here's a glance at some of our favorite moments of 2014:

A New Milestone.
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals reached a new milestone in March, when the organization announced more than $5 billion had been raised for children's hospitals since its inception in 1983.

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May is for Miracles.
Every May, more than a dozen North American outlets and proud partners of our mission, thousands of retailer employees, and millions of supporters come together for a month of fundraising. This year's campaign was exceptional, as everyone participating came armed with the passion to help as many children as possible.

Newsworthy.
Fifty five of our Network's member hospitals are featured in the U.S. News Honor Roll of Best Children's Hospitals 2014-15, released in June. The magazine ranked 89 hospitals total and recognized 10 that had high scores in at least three specialties, all of which are members of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

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Fit for a Champion.
Every year, we identify a child with a remarkable medical story from each state and in Canada to represent the 62 children that enter a Children's Miracle Network Hospital for treatment every minute. Our 2014 “Champions” traveled everywhere from Washington, D.C. and Toronto to Orlando, Fla. on an official Ambassador Tour to highlight the vital work of children’s hospitals. The Champions program is sponsored by Delta, Marriott International and Chico's FAS, Inc. in the U.S. and Walmart Canada and Air Canada Foundation in Canada.

Champions
 

Solving the Puzzle.
America’s Game® Wheel of Fortune made sure that at-home viewers of its popular “Secret Santa Sweepstakes” weren't the only winners. For two weeks in December, in-studio players earned donations for "Wheel Watchers Club" members. The Children’s Miracle Network Hospital of the club member’s choice received cash donation matching their winnings with a minimum of $300,000 being donated during the course of the sweepstakes.

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What was your favorite moment of 2014? Tell us in the comments.

Dec 19, 2014

Delta Air Lines Bear Bags to Help Kids

This holiday season, Delta Air Lines is bringing hope from the skies to hospital halls with an exclusive signature Bear Bag, featured in its popular commercial. The bags are available on eBay, beginning Dec. 19. One hundred percent of profits from each bag sold will be donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Earlier this month, Delta captured a surprise visit to pediatric patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta , a CMN Hospital, where they gifted bags filled with toys, goodies and other treats to raise their spirits.

 

Using the “Giving Works” section on eBay, you can order a Bear Bag of your own by making a $75 donation directly to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Click here to learn more.

Delta Air Lines has been a proud partner of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since 1997, and has raised more than $12 million during that time. Delta serves more than 160 million customers each year. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 318 destinations in 59 countries on six continents. Delta’s Force for Global Good’s year-round commitment involves hospital fundraising, public awareness through their network (both in-flight and on-ground), employee volunteerism, and the underwriting of air travel for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and its beneficiaries. With more than 80,000 employees worldwide, the spirit of giving embodied by Delta employee volunteers symbolizes the heart and soul of Delta people worldwide. It’s because of them that Delta is recognized as more than just an airline. They are a leader in corporate social responsibility.

Dec 17, 2014

On the road with CMN Hospitals Champion Ambassadors

Amber is the mother of Nathan Ferrell, our 2014 Champion representing the state of Florida. Below, she speaks to Nathan's experiences as a Champion Ambassador and their family's account of joining him for the 2014 Champions Amabassador Tour. (Pictures by Kirstin Roper Photography)

At the beginning of the year, my 6-year-old son, Nathan, was chosen to be the 2014 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champion for the state of Florida. It was an incredible honor to be nominated by University of Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital, and it was quite humbling knowing that in this role he would serve as the ambassador for all pediatric patients who visit the numerous CMN Hospitals in our state. I have to admit, we had a lot of fun traveling around Florida attending fundraisers, telling Nate's story, and showing our gratitude to the many organizations that support this cause that is so dear to our hearts.

The yearlong ambassadorship culminated in a tour through Washington, D.C. and Orlando, Fla., and was unlike anything we have ever experienced. We are not the same people we were before participating in the Champions Tour; it changed our life in many ways.

Thanks to the astounding sponsorship of Delta Air Lines, Marriott International and Chico's FAS, a Champion from each of the United States and 12 from Canada were given the opportunity to share their stories while being honored for their remarkable medical journeys. Accompanied by their National Goodwill Ambassador, Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev, the U.S. Champions met with state legislators in Washington, D.C. to discuss the charitable needs of children’s hospitals. They raised awareness for CMN Hospitals during a visit with First Lady Michelle Obama and the First Dogs, had lunch in the Dirksen Senate Hearing Room, explored the U.S, Capitol and paid their respects at Arlington National Cemetery during a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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While the tour’s primary purpose was to highlight the vital work of children’s hospitals, it also offers its share of “fun” for Champions and their families.

From a movie night hosted by Fox Home Entertainment at the J.W. Marriott to the Delta chartered flight, to a Gifting Suite hosted by Chico’s FAS to pamper moms, the trip was chocked full of many special moments. Emotions ran high during the Medal Ceremony with Nick Cannon, Miss America, and Delta executives, as each Champion was honored, as well as during the Disney character dinner and a personal concert by Lady Antebellum, in which Champions joined the group on stage for a couple of songs.

If that wasn't enough, the trip concluded with a magical day at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, where the Champions participated in the Move It, Shake It, Dance and Play It Street Party, served as the grand marshals of the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade and finished out the night enjoying the ever popular Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.

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So, when you read the above paragraphs, you can totally understand why I say it was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. But what makes it a "life-changing" trip?

Well, that would be the Champions; these children are the definition of the word in every sense, each and every one of them. They have defied odds, proven medical odds wrong, and fought through treatments, trials, heartache, pain and pure exhaustion with every fiber of their being. They have done so with grace, resilience, and an incredibly positive attitude that inspires everyone who is privileged to cross their paths. And what do they want to do in their free time? They help other kids in need by bringing much needed awareness and funds to our CMN Hospitals. All of this is what makes each one of them the epitome of a Champion.

And the families behind these Champions: I looked into their eyes and instantly saw a reflection of our own journey. Each of us has been on a similar, yet different, path. I saw their worry, their fear, their hearts that have been broken and mended a hundred times. I saw their joy, their wonder, their delight in seeing how much their Champion has accomplished. Without words, their eyes told stories of the nights they lay wide awake worried about the future, the times they crouched in a shower to sob because no one could hear them there, the internal pain they felt when their child was looked at differently or the tinge of jealousy that erupted from watching the complete normalcy of friends’ lives.

But in the midst of the struggles that lay deep in the eyes of our new friends, their pain was overshadowed by the intense joy they felt each time they were able to hug their child. We saw elation in watching them experience so many amazing opportunities in the span of a week. We saw overwhelming love and emotion well up in each parent as they sat back and watched 54 children who have met various challenges throughout their lives all meet, connect, and instantly become best friends — for life — forever. All because of CMN Hospitals.

So when I say that we are not the same as we were before this trip, it is because of each of these Champions, families and individuals. All together, we created ONE family: the #Champions14 family. Being home, back to reality, has been much harder than I ever imagined. I feel like pieces of our hearts reside in every single state in our country now. But in the end, I am grateful that we know precious people all across our nation who share our desire to further the momentum of CMN Hospitals.

We are #Champions14 forever.

 

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Amber, with her son, Nathan

 

 

Dec 12, 2014

Give a Gift This Holiday Season That Gives Back

This holiday season Chico's FAS and its family of brands, Chico's, White House Black Market, Soma and Boston Proper are proud to continue their support of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals with a new holiday campaign celebrating children and caregivers!

Miracle Bear

The Miracle Bear is inspired by everyone who cares for sick or injured children. These caregivers are best friends, great listeners and amazing supporters, no matter what.  They make things happen and have a knack for making every day better than the one before.  This holiday season we want to thank all the miraculous caregivers who help save children’s lives because they make us believe in miracles.

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Amber Ferrell is a great example of a caregiver. Her son, 2014 Florida Champion, Nathan, has overcome a lot in his short life. Amber says, “As my son courageously fights against the daily effects of a chronic disease, I want him to know that I will always love him, fearlessly protect him, and wrap my arms around him in support throughout this difficult journey. The Miracle Bear instills a sense of warmth in my heart as it beautifully represents a reflection of our journey in life together.”

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When you purchase a Miracle Bear for $25 in the U.S., or online, $15 will be donated to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. You can help make miracles happen for the sick and injured kids being treated in your community.

The Miracle Bear can be purchased right now at all Chico’sWhite House Black Market, Soma and Boston Proper  boutiques in the U.S. as well as on each brands individual websites, while supplies last.

Dec 05, 2014

Help Kids Stay Safe This Holiday Season

6 timely saftey and nutrition tips to keep kids safe this holiday season.

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The holiday season is upon us, and as you prepare to enjoy all the wonderful things associated with this time of year, don’t forget to keep nutrition and child safety top of mind so the entire family has a jolly holiday.

Experts at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals recommend these six safety and nutrition tips:

Prepare for potential holiday hazards. With the excitement the holiday season brings, close supervision of children shouldn’t be overlooked. Experts at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recommend keeping loose button batteries often found in children’s toys and singing greeting cards out of reach, as they are dangerous when swallowed. Keep holiday guests’ medication out of reach of young children, a grandparent’s purse can be a dangerous place if a pill minder or medications are left inside. Though often not poisonous, winter plants and berries — including dried arrangements— present a choking hazard. The Poison Control Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia warns that decorations and ornaments also pose a choking hazard and can cause injury if broken or chewed.

Simplify the stress. The holidays can be a joyful but stressful time. Establish limits that will prevent financial burdens on your family. Schedule some daily quiet time for yourself every day to help decrease blood pressure and improve blood circulation. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, prioritize what’s most important and keep things simple. Lean on the support of your friends and family if feelings of stress or depression become overwhelming

Beware of string lighting. Medical staff at Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Center remind you to avoid placing strings of lights near beds, cribs or on the interior of bedrooms as these can pose strangulation hazards if they become dislodged. To avoid injuries, check the bulbs periodically to make sure that none are broken.

Limit over-eating at holiday parties.  It’s a fun time of year full of socializing, holiday goodness and lots of food. To avoid over-eating at holiday dinners, start with bowls of nuts or raw vegetables with dip. You’ll feel better if you fill up on healthy options. Chewing slowly allows your brain to register when you are full. Whenever possible, make the healthier food choice, but give yourself permission to enjoy seasonal foods in moderation.

Prepare and thaw holiday favorites correctly. Food safety is imperative when making your holiday specialties. Thaw and prepare food according to packaging instructions. For more information, call the Food Safety Hotline: (800) 535-4555 or visit FDA.gov for holiday food safety advice.

Prepare before you head to grandma's. When readying for car trips to visit relatives, make sure that windshield deicers and antifreeze are being used according to directions. When securing kids in a car seat, remove heavy snowsuits or extra-bulky coats. Instead, keep a blanket nearby to tuck them in with after they’re properly secured in the car seat harness.

To learn more about your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and ways you can help make kids healthier, visit CMNHospitals.org.

 

Nov 26, 2014

Ways to Give to Your Children’s Miracle Network Hospital

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1. Anything helps.

From donating to participating in a local fundraiser (Miracle Treat Day, anyone?), there are a variety of ways to help your Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Visit http://childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/Help to learn about the different ways you can help save kids’ lives. 

2. Purchase a Miracle Bear.

Chico’s, White House Black Market, Soma and Boston Proper are donating $15 of every Miracle Bear purchase to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. The Miracle Bear is protective and loving and is inspired by everyone who cares for sick and injured children. Available while supplies last - online or in store.

3. Reach out to your member hospitals’ director and find out volunteer or donation needs.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals support 170 member hospitals across North America. If you are looking to do something for the CMN Hospital near you, simply click on the Find Your Hospital link on our website and search by zip code or state.

4. Become a Wheel of Fortune Wheel Watcher.

This holiday season, Wheel of Fortune is partnering with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals in the Secret Santa Sweepstakes, brought to you by Walmart. Each weeknight from Dec. 8 - 19th, three lucky viewers who are Wheel Watchers Club members will win the same prizes as the in-show contestants. And the amount won by each home viewer will be matched, in cash, and donated to the Children's Miracle Network Hospital of the viewer's choice. Sign up for your FREE SPIN ID by Nov. 30th for your chance to win big prizes for yourself and for local kids!

 5. Donate.

We are thankful for the generosity of people like you who are helping make miracles happen in your communities. For more information on Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the 10 million kids treated at a CMN Hospital annually, visit: https://childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org.

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