Friday, November 12, 2010

Our First Day

Thursday started out with our Welcome Breakfast and some special guests...

After breakfast we headed to the Magic Kingdom for some fun! We watched some parades, met some characters and rode ALOT of rides! Sam and Myles continued their obsession with pins and trading them with other guests. I even turned into a Fairy for the day! It was a blast.

In the late afternoon we headed to Epcot and went to a Rick Springfield concert and worked our way through the countries, still more to see though! We also watched the nightly fireworks from a private CMN sponsor party lakeside. We met some wonderful people from ReMax and Dairy Queen who work very hard to support the hospitals and children. All we can say to all these sponsors is THANK YOU!!!!!!

Our Celebration event is this afternoon, so we plan on spending some time exploring this morning. Who knows what surprises this day will hold! More later.....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Disney World!!!!!

We are here at Disney and so excited to have some fun!
When we arrived at the airport yesterday, we were greeted by the Delta supervisor who upgraded us to First Class and escorted us to the lounge to wait for our flight out. Thank you Delta for Stedman Hale, he is a gem! We were allowed to board the plane privately so that Sam, Myles and CT could receive a tour of the cockpit prior to boarding and departure. For CT's first flight he remembers, it was a pretty awesome experience.

Last night we went to T-Rex in Downtown Disney for dinner with our friends the Missouri Champions, Carolyn and Josh. The boys loved the meteor showers every 20 minutes and the animated dinosaurs. We also met up with a friend from Texas, Tyler, who is working here on his internship. It was great to catch up with him.

This morning we have a welcome breakfast at the Fantasia ballroom and then we are off to the Magic Kingdom. I will try to post pics, but the camera and this computer are not speaking right now.

Thanks CMN, Delta and Cook Childrens!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Another power packed day! We started the day by heading to Capital Hill for a luncheon, it was interesting to watch the bus being "checked out" by a bomb sniffing German Shepherd that looked as nice as can be, but you knew he was ready to tear off your head with the wrong move. We had a wonderful lunch and met some very nice Senators, but unfortunately not anyone from Texas.

After lunch we headed out on the Metro with the family from Missouri for Arlington Cemetery, one of Kent and Sam's required spots of interest. This place is breathtaking. We visited Kennedy's grave, watched 2 wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown and changing of the guard. We then visited General Robert E. Lee's home. The Pentagon can be seen from the the front of the home. It was interesting to see the lighter colored cement that repaired where the plane flew into it on 9/11. Thru the archives we were able to locate Debbie's brother-in-law's father's grave. That was a solemn moment to visit someone that is buried in this magnificent place when you recognize the name.

Sam is doing well walking all over the city, he is very tired by the end of the day but keeps a good attitude about it all. He does not want to miss anything! Again we can not thank CMN, Cook Children's and Walmart/Sam's Club for this wonderful opportunity. It is so wonderful to spend time with families that have stood in the middle of the storm and have made it out alive, each and everyone of these Champions are miracles made possible by the funding of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Tomorrow will be an early day with interview with Miss America and David Archaleta.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday...This day started early, we met in the lobby at 8:15 am to walk to the EPSN zone. We were treated to a wonderful buffet breakfast and then a program including a private concert from Mark Wells and Miss America and a visit from Screech, the Nationals mascot, who announced he is taking us all to the Nationals game on Wednesday. The kids then were treated to game cards from ESPN zone, first time ever that Sam and Myles did not use up all the money before we were ready to go!

I have to admit that today was extremely emotional, not because it is a new "wound" but to share your lives and stories with so many other families you realize that each day is even more of a blessing than you thought. Also, to watch these children have the time of their life with no limits, is priceless! These children are being given an opportunity that we as their parents could never give them.

After our morning at the ESPN zone we headed for a bus tour of DC and saw the Lincoln, Jefferson, Korean, Vietnam, WW II and Washington Monuments. We then visited the Smithsonian Museums of Natural History and Air and Space. It was very awesome!

This evening we took the METRO to another part of the city for some really wonderful pizza and micro brewery beer with our new friends from Idaho. Their son Zach, will be throwing out the first pitch of the Nationals game on Wednesday.

Tomorrow is another big day with a visit to Capital Hill and then we are heading for Arlington Cemetery.

I will try to post pictures in the morning, the free internet is very slow!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

D.C. Arrival

Wow what a day of traveling! We arrived in D.C. about 6 pm and with 3 other familes from Idaho, Arkansas and Conn. were met with smiling CMN employess, a round of applause from the Delta terminal and balloons! Everyone we have met has been soo nice and full of smiles. It is so strange to be saying thank you to them for this opportunity and they are thanking us for inspiring them. Mutual Admiration!

Sam and Myles headed straight to the pool and met up with several of the children and their siblings. One of the wonderful things we have experienced so far, is that although the Champion is the one whose story is told, the rest of the family is considered Champions too. Myles is getting all the "free" goodies too, he is not just along for the ride. THANK YOU CMN for making the siblings feel special too!

We headed out for dinner with Zach (Idaho) and his family and Josh (MO) and his mom and grandmother. On our way we came upon a road block with Secret Service and police lights flashing, the rumor was that President Obama was at a play and would be exiting soon, the boys decided that they did not need to wait to see him because they were going to meet him on Wednesday. It was hilarious!

Tommorrow is a busy day we are having breakfast and spending the morning at the ESPN Zone, a place much like Dave in Busters in TX. Afterwards, we are heading out for a bus tour of the city and then visiting museums.

We were told tonight that Sam will have 4 media events on Wednesday.

8:00 and 8:15 am interview with David Archuleta on 94.1 and not sure about other station

8:30 and 9:40 am interview with Miss America with KTBC Fox and KDFW Fox 4

Good night all!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

2010 Champion Kickoff

What a kick off to our 2010 Champion Celebration at Walmart Highland Village on May18th! There were balloons, speakers and cake! Thanks to Walmart and their generous support of Children's Miracle Network, Sam was given a $500 gift card to use to "get ready" for the trip to D.C. and what would any 15 year old boy need but an IPOD Touch! He was escorted back to electronics as soon as he possibly could break away to pick it out! The rest will be used for more practical things he says, like gum and Tic Tacs, but mom and dad have other ideas :)
Many people spoke about what makes Cook Children's stand out and part of that is the Children's Miracle Network and their donations from the little balloons you buy at the store and the businesses and individuals that give continually to CMN to help make miracles happen everyday. Thank you Walmart, Sam's club and all the other companies that made my son's miracle happen!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What a ride the last three years have been! Sam went from an active 12 year boy with hopes of playing football and running track to being on crutches with his left foot at a 90 degree angle in a matter of 6 weeks. He spent 10 long months on crutches while we were taking him from doctor to doctor trying to get the right diagnosis and then the right treatment. We finally met and were embraced by Dr. Acosta, Dr. Marks, Dr. Honeycutt and their staff at Cook Children's Medical Center. For the first time, we felt safe and that we could beat this "thing" that had taken Sam's spirit for life. By May, 2008 he was having Deep Brain Stimulation surgery and with a great deal of prayer, physical therapy and miracles he went back to school in August walking without any assistance! Today if you saw him on the street you may think he had a slight limp, but nothing significant. He is back to being a pretty normal active teenager- hiking, sledding, swimming and most recently horseback riding. Words can never express how grateful we are to Cook Children's for everything they did to give us our son back.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sam's Story

Age 15
Hereditary Dystonia

Cook Children’s Medical Center

“Something is telling my brain that when my foot is normal, it’s causing me pain. The dystonia takes my foot and contorts it. All it really does is cause me more pain, but the brain doesn’t register it.” Those are the words of Sam, 15, intelligently describing hereditary dystonia. Sam’s simple explanation is about a very complex problem that has made the last few years of his life anything but simple.

In March 2007, Sam started having trouble walking. His condition worsened but no one could provide an accurate diagnoses of the problem. Finally Sam was accurately diagnosed with hereditary dystonia. Suggested treatments just led to more excruciating pain. Eventually, Sam’s family found the key to unlocking his pain: the medical team at Cook Children’s Medical Center. It was there that they were introduced to pediatric deep brain stimulation. This procedure uses electrical signals to change the messages from the brain and Cook Children’s was leading the way in this cutting-edge treatment.

Sam was fully conscious during a six-hour brain surgery that finally gave him his life back. The surgery proved overwhelming successful and Sam returned to all the things he loves: reading, scouts and sailing.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

About Walmart and Sam’s Club

Wal-Mart has supported Children’s Miracle Network since 1987. Since then, Children’s Miracle Network and Wal-Mart have worked tirelessly together to help children by raising money for children’s hospitals. Walmart and Sam’s Club associates, customers and members have raised more than $500 million for children’s hospitals during the 23 year relationship. This is the second year Walmart and Sam’s Club have sponsored the Champions program.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Champions presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club

Champions presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club is a Children's Miracle Network program that brings attention to the important work being done at children’s hospitals by honoring remarkable children who have faced severe medical challenges.

The Champions program designates a champion 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 2010 champions have dealt with a wide variety of injuries and illnesses including genetic diseases, heart transplants and traumas, as well as life-threatening staph infections.

As part of Champions presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club, the champions travel for a week in June to Washington, D.C., where champions traditionally meet with their state senators on Capitol Hill, and the President of the United States during a visit to the White House. The family then travels to Orlando, Fla., for a second week in November. There, champions meet Children’s Miracle Network sponsor, hospital and media partners who all convene to celebrate a year of medical miracles during the Children’s Miracle Network Celebration event at Walt Disney World Resort.