For The Kids.
Children’s Miracle Network is a network of 170 incredible hospitals across North America. Living in Orlando, I have the opportunity of supporting those hospitals in our Greater Orlando area, which include Arnold Palmer Medical Center and UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.
Why I Give
When I think about why this cause and these hospitals means so much to me, there’s many things that come to mind. I’ve been fortunate to meet many families with kids who have been treated at these hospitals and every story has proved to be so unique. There are two miracle stories however that has always stood out to me. The first is Sam. Sam is 14 years old and due to spina bifida, he has had 28 surgeries in his lifetime. The first time I met him, Sam’s mom was sharing his story and she said one thing that I will never forget. She said, “Of all my kids, Sam has the most to complain about, yet complains the least.” As soon as you meet Sam, you can tell that this is true. However, I realized that this is something that is so true of all miracle families. Families dealing with childhood illness or injuries, you realize that although they have the most to be angry, sad, scared, or nervous about, they’re families who show so much love and courage to let their stories be told. It’s inspiring and leads me to my next miracle story – Holden. Before Holden was born, doctors already anticipated he would have heart problems. When he was born, it wasn’t long until Holden were to have open-heart surgery due to the heart defect he was born with. Unfortunately, at just 2 years old, Holden lost his battle and passed away. During my time being involved with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Holden was the first (and only) story of a loss I had experienced. Holden’s parents are a prime example of parents who may have so much to be angry, sad, scared, or nervous about, yet they were not. I was able to attend Holden’s funeral service where Holden’s parents welcomed the community with arms wide open to honor the baby we all knew and loved. “A heart is not judged by how much it loves. It is judged by how much it is loved by others.” Holden and his family taught me that.
I could go on for days with stories of families that have touched my heart. But something that I noticed is true and is my reason for giving is “you never know until you need it.” You never realize how important children’s hospitals are until you need to bring your child there. You never know how important current equipment, technology, and research are until a child’s life is depending on it.
These children being admitted to these hospitals sometimes have conditions they can’t even pronounce, much less understand. Although I have no children myself, I can imagine the amount of strength not only these kids have but their parents and families have, as well.
I will forever give back to my local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, I will forever be For The Kids, because it’s true, you never know until you need it.
Review from #MyGivingStory