Each year around this time, we transform our radio station from playing your favorite songs and filling you in on Hollywood gossip, to an outward stretched hand trying to help the kids at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
Our mission is simple…help the kids.
What many people don’t know is that my connection with radiothon began before I even came to Mix 105.1.
You see, my nephew AJ was born with aortic stenosis, a rare heart defect that affects a tiny percentage of children. Essentially, the valve to his heart was faulty and needed to be fixed.
At just a few hours old in March 2005, a “ballooning” was done to open up the valve and allow blood to flow through with the thought that a major valve replacement surgery was looming around his 5th birthday.
This was my first time ever seeing the world that little hot air balloon does at children’s hospitals.
The balloon I’m referring to is the logo of Children’s Miracle Network. They help purchase the equipment that kept my nephew alive during his 2nd open heart surgery. They were there by his bedside with the child life programs during his recovery process. They helped him get through 3 surgeries and they’re a big part of why he’s alive today.
My family owes a lot to Children’s Miracle Network and the work they do here locally at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children which, on its own is a world-class facility that children worldwide come to for treatment.
So if you personally have never had to sit in the waiting room of a hospital, while a doctor comes in and tells your sister that her son and your nephew has successfully been placed on the bypass machine (which beats his heart for him while the surgery is performed) them you now know someone who has.
If you’ve never had to watch a 10-year-old boy walk down the hallway with an IV pole just 48 hours after open heart surgery, you now know someone who has.
This time of year is about giving thanks and showing those you love that you care.
However, I am thankful all year round for the work Children’s Miracle Network and Arnold Palmer Hospital do for the children in our community. Without them, I don’t know that my nephew would be here today. He’s a thriving middle school teenager, who just started playing travel baseball by the way.
Yes, I’m a proud uncle.
The Mix 105.1 Loves Our Kids Radiothon is this Thursday and Friday from the atrium of Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.