Monday, March 15, 2010

Abryanna's Story

Age 11
Friedreich’s Ataxia, Genetic Disease

Shodair Children’s Hospital

“Abryanna is a very happy 11-year-old,” said her grandmother Rita. “It’s like she’s got a built in smile.” But she hasn’t always been in situations worth smiling about.
In November 2003, Abryanna woke up very sick. Her stomach was swollen and painful. Rushed to the hospital, she was experiencing kidney and liver failure in connection with cardiomiopathy, a form of heart disease. After nearly one month in the intensive care unit, Abryanna was able to return home on Christmas Eve.
Everything was relatively normal until 2007, when Abryanna was continually dizzy, often falling down. Her grandmother thought this was the result of growth spurts. When Abryanna fell face-forward on the ground and chipped a tooth, Rita knew something was seriously wrong.

After several tests, Abryanna was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia, a very rare genetic disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system and is often recognized by symptoms such as gait and speech problems, as well as heart disease.
Today, Abryanna doesn’t let her walker stop her from missing roller skating parties every Friday night. Since she isn’t able to do much skating, she mostly socializes on the sidelines and wins friends easily with her smile.

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.