Happy Wednesday! With one week left in this month’s Miracle Challenge, I wanted to do something a little different for this week’s Power of One Wednesday. Over the past few months, you’ve more than likely heard me talk about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. I’ve raced in my crown and pajamas, done my best Pokémon impersonations next to hospital beds, and, for the past 20 days, done one fitness challenge every day, all in support of this organization.
As a Social Entrepreneurship major, I love to look at numbers. The numbers surrounding Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals are worth looking at…
- 62 children enter a CMNH hospital per minute.
- Over 17 million children have been treated at a CMNH hospital—one out of every ten children in North America.
- CMNH provides over 32 million treatments each year—everything from surgeries to x-rays.
Those statistics are mind boggling, but they’re just numbers without context. And so today, I’d like to share my family’s story.
In 2010, my family became one of the 17 million that have their lives completely changed by a single diagnosis. My younger brother John was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease—an autoimmune disorder that, for six months, dominated our family’s life. In a matter of days, my brother went from someone who loved Legos and playing with me down at Sanders Park to a thin, frail figure in a hospital bed. Every day, we would go to school, but instead of coming home to play or do homework, would make the drive up to Milwaukee, see my brother in pain for as long as the staff would let us, and make the long, sobering drive home.
As the oldest in my family, I was absolutely destroyed by what was happening to John. I couldn’t understand how a diagnosis on a sheet of paper could wreak havoc on the body and mind of someone I loved. I felt completely powerless, and even though the rest of my family and I tried to stay as positive as we could, internally, I could not have felt worse.
Crohn’s may have taken my brother’s experience in seventh grade, his ability to walk for a period of time, and much of his strength, but he refused to let it take his spirit. He continued to remain positive and grateful in a situation that I myself could hardly find hope in. During this time, the doctors, nurses, and staff of the hospital did everything they could to continue fueling that hope. And since my brother was treated at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, he was one of those 17 million who was supported by Children’s Miracle Network. He’s now completing his freshman year at the University of Wisconsin Madison and is hoping to find solutions to genetic diseases like Crohn’s. He continues to be my biggest role model.
Chances are, you or somebody you know has shared in the pain of having someone you love in the hospital. However, each of us has a chance to share in the joy of recovery and hope as well. Most of the $5 billion that CMNH has given to hospitals all across North America was raised by people like you—individuals donating a dollar here, a dollar there. Maybe you visited IHOP for Free Pancake Day or bought a balloon at Walmart. Regardless of how big or small your effort was, it mattered. It made a difference to a family like mine.
My goal is to raise $272 dollars by April 27th—$10 each day for the fitness challenges I have completed and have yet to complete. If you’re able, please consider making a donation to this month’s challenge. If just 10 people donated $27 dollars, my fundraising goal would be met!
If you decide to be one of those people today, know that you are making a real and tangible difference in the lives of families who need hope more than anything right now. Thank you for being The Power of One.