Updated: Apr 30, 2018
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds and awareness for 170 children's hospitals in the United States, including Minnesota's Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. I am honored to serve as a local ambassador for CMNH, with it being Miss America's national platform since 2007!
Service has always been a very important point of the crown to me, and a huge reason why I looked up to Miss America as a little girl. Raising funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals as Miss South Central has been a wonderful experience because Minnesota's CMN Hospital, Gillette, has played such an important role in my family's life.
When my cousin, Isabella, was born, she was diagnosed with an extremely rare disorder called Trisomy 2. Not many children in the world are living with this disorder. Bella has been to countless hospital visits for open heart surgery at age one, spinal surgery for shunt placement, hand surgery, MRI procedures to monitor her Syrinx tumor, and seizure medication adjustments.
Bella has continued to defy the odds and prove her doctors wrong every step of the way. She will celebrate her golden birthday this year, turning 15 years old!! My family and I are so proud of her and love her so much. Gillette's extra special care for its patients has left such a positive impact on Bella. After surgery, she wanted her toenails painted. Her doctor brought her an array of sparkly colors to choose from and painted her nails for her! Spending Christmas time at the hospital was hard, but Santa visited Bella and brought her an owl stuffed animal also named Bella. (Owl's are her favorite animal ever!)
Gillette goes the extra mile for families by having activities for their patients to participate in while they are waiting for their appointments. In the sky way there are binoculars where kids can look out into downtown St. Paul and try to spot some famous landmarks. I loved spending time with the children at Gillette for Valentine's Day! We brought arts and crafts as well as goodie bags for the patients to take home.
I also volunteered at Gillette's Pedal in Place event, raising money for kids who have Cerebral Palsy. We hopped on bikes and raced for twenty minutes all for the kids! It was an incredible experience to be surrounded by so much energy and support.
I also organized a fundraising event for CMN Hospitals at Hy-Vee in Waseca, where myself and my sister queens bagged groceries on Easter weekend, raising over $300. I love getting out into the community and spreading the message of giving back to wonderful organizations like CMN. All of the wonderful things CMN is doing for 170 children's hospitals across the country wouldn't be possible without each local community's support. I am so happy to help make miracles happen for families in Minnesota through the service work and fundraisers I have done for CMN.
Donate to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals today by clicking this DONATE link!