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.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ayla's Story

Age 10

The Children’s Hospital

Blood Disorder

When Ayla was 3 years old, a minor accident on the playground resulted in severe dark bruises on her legs. When her worried parents took her to the doctor, the test results turned their world upside down.

Ayla was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a disease that affects the body’s ability to clot blood and stop bleeding. The disease made Ayla’s body unable to control even the smallest cut or bruise—a frightening scenario for an active toddler. Although 90 percent of childhood ITP cases clear up within a year, Ayla’s did not. Her ITP is chronic, necessitating numerous blood transfusions, frequent hospital visits and even a splenectomy.

A few months after her diagnosis, Ayla’s family moved to Denver, Colo., so she could receive ongoing care at The Children’s Hospital. “At our first appointment, we knew we had found the right place,” said Ayla’s father, Jay.

Now 10, Ayla is mature, empathetic and patient with the challenges of her disease. She plays the piano and violin, and loves to swim and dance.