Marathon Update….Catching up with our Miracle Mile Champions
It’s been six months since runners crossed the finish line of the 2012 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. 26.2 miles, 18,000 athletes, 100,000 cheering fans – more than $925,000 raised to fund clinical care and research (with donors directing gifts to their specific area of interest at the hospital).
It was an amazing first year – with inspiration provided at every mile by our 25 patient champions and the very special angel mile, honoring the memory of children who have finished their race.
So what’s up for 2013? Exciting plans are underway. We received an overwhelming number of nominations for this year’s patient champions. We will be announcing our 2013 patient champions for each mile in the next several weeks. We will once again host the Angel Mile with funds benefitting our pediatric hospice program. New this year will be the Alumni Mile – one mile reuniting all our patient champions from 2012. Many of the children from last year’s event wanted to cheer on runners and help raise funds again so we made this mile just for them.
Patient Champion Updates:
Many of you have asked for updates on our 2012 patient mile champions and here are some highlights:
Many of you were moved by Brett, who inspired thousands as he was pushed across the finish line by “Team Brett”. Brett is a 7 year old boy who has beaten the odds. His terminal diagnosis of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type 1 meant he was not supposed to see his 3rd birthday. Brett continues to live his dreams – finishing his school year and looking forward to the summer months with his family. The Kingsley’s continue to champion for SMA research at Nationwide Children’s – one of America’s leading centers seeking cures for this devastating disease.
At 34 weeks pregnant, Kile’s parents discovered that little Logan had an esophageal malformation, and would require immediate surgery after birth. After only months of life, Logan was diagnosed with Charge Syndrome. Charge Syndrome often leads to deafness, blindness, and a multitude of other diagnoses. Today, Logan’s parents are happy to report that their 4-year old is now walking, using sign language and even beginning to form a couple words. He amazes his teachers every day in preschool and keeps his family laughing at home. His parents feel they are the luckiest people in the world to experience parenthood with Logan, their little miracle, as their guide!
Immediately after birth Kole developed serious complications and was taken to the operating room. Over the course of several weeks, he had all but 10 cm of his small bowel removed leaving him with short bowel syndrome and dependent on IV nutrition (TPN). Now age 4, Kole has unfortunately had several hospitalizations over the last months. He is struggling right now but he does not let that get him down. He has a smile for everyone. Kole continues to be dependent on his TPN (IV nutrition) and tube feeds. His short bowel syndrome and other diagnoses do not keep him from living life to the fullest. He is taking a gymnastic class and plans on playing Miracle League Baseball again this year.
Nicholas was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in December 2011 and underwent surgery in January 2012. He was diagnosed with a recurrent brain tumor the week after the Nationwide Columbus Children’s Hospital Marathon and underwent another very long surgery to remove the recurrent tumor on November 7, 2012. He is currently receiving Radiation Therapy . Nicholas’ parents report that he was honored to be a patient champion last year, and his smile never wavered nor did his high fives for every runner that came to greet him. Many runners brought personal messages of hope and inspiration to Nicholas as he sat there that day. Many told Nicholas, that he was why they were running. Nicholas’ team raised more than $4000 and the are gearing up for the 2013 race.
Hunter was among our tiniest mile champions. He spent more than 400 days in our neonatal intensive care unit after being born more than three months premature in September, 2011. Hunter battled nearly every complication of severe prematurity but he’s been home since last October. He currently receives oxygen therapy and has a feeding tube to help speed his growth. Given less than a 50 percent chance of survival, Hunter is a fighter, now weighing almost 19 pounds.