Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champions

Champions is a Children's Miracle Network Hospitals program that brings attention to the important work being done at its 170 children’s hospitals. It does this by honoring 51 remarkable kids who have faced severe medical challenges, and helping them tell their stories.

The Champions program designates a 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 2011 Champions have dealt with a wide variety of injuries and illnesses including genetic diseases, organ transplants and traumas, as well as various types of cancer.

The Champions travel for a week in October, first to Washington, D.C., where they traditionally meet with their state senators on Capitol Hill, and the President of the United States during a visit to the White House. They then take a private chartered flight, provided by Delta Air Lines, to Orlando, Fla. There, champions meet Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals sponsors, hospital representatives and media partners who all convene to celebrate a year of medical miracles during the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Celebration event at Walt Disney World Resort.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tristan's Story

Tristan Kuhlman
Age: 13

Children’s Hospital

Brain Tumor

Tristan was only 5-months-old when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that caused uncontrollable seizures. He underwent surgery to remove the tumor, but it came back after three weeks. Medications and chemotherapy were used in an effort to stop the 200-400 seizures he was having each day, but nothing helped.

Luckily, a solution to Tristan’s seizures was found at Children’s Hospital. Doctors explained that unless they removed the left side of Tristan’s brain, seizures would eventually kill him. His parents knew that was the only option and the four-hour hemispherectomy surgery ended Tristan’s seizures once and for all.

From the beginning, Tristan has exhibited an internal strength that doesn’t let him stop progressing. His parents were told that there was a possibility that he would never talk or walk again. Today, this 13-year-old does everything at sprint speed and never stops talking. He is extremely athletic and enjoys karate, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, baseball and swimming. His right arm doesn’t function like it used to, but he adapts and figures how to get things done.

Tristan may only have half his brain, but he lives life twice as full as most kids his age.