A few days ago, I began my first of 27.2 miles for Miracle Marathon, a 27-day virtual marathon and fundraising campaign that can be completed however the participant would like, at his/her own pace and at a time and place convenient for him/her. Proceeds from the campaign benefit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of Miracle Marathon, because Children's Miracle Network Hospitals is a non-profit organization very near and dear to my heart.
Back in 2005, my little sister, Katie, was diagnosed with a sensory disorder, something that prevented her from transitioning to solid foods normally as a toddler. Being able to eat a full Doritos chip without gagging was a huge accomplishment for her-- for almost a year, we had to feed her a high-calorie, protein-rich milkshake via syringe, because she couldn't even drink it out of a cup without gagging. My mom enrolled her in an intensive feeding therapy program at All Children's Hospital, a Children's Miracle Network Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL, called Happy Mealtimes. Katie successfully graduated from the program, being able to eat solid foods just like any child her age.
In 2007, she was selected to represent the state of Florida in the Champions Across America program through Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, and traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet the President and speak with Congress members about pediatric health care. After her trip to the Capitol, she was flown to Orlando, FL, where she was able to meet Miss America, Marie Osmond, the Jonas Brothers and more at Disney World during the Children's Miracle Network Celebration.
Today, Katie is 14 years old and is a freshman in high school. It is so crazy to think that she was once hospitalized because of her unique condition, and we have Children's Miracle Network Hospitals to thank for providing the care necessary to help Katie become a healthy Miracle Child.
From now until the 12th of October, I'll be staying active by moving at least one mile per day, to raise funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. It's not too late to begin the Miracle Marathon journey for yourself-- you can make up the miles you've missed! If you're not able to participate, please consider supporting me by donating to my fundraising page!