Gabriella is an amazing gift and a source of so much joy in our lives! She brightens every room and brings smiles to every face she greets. Wherever she goes, she greets strangers with a hello and shares a toy (usually her favorite stuffed bunny), and leaves them as friends, sharing a hug. We’ve lost track of how many times perfect strangers have told us how she lifted their spirits with her unbound friendliness and joy. With her friends, she’s always willing to share her love and her toys. To Lori and to me, she is the gift of a lifetime.
But the gift that Children’s Hospital has been to our family and the blessing they are to our community is why we ride the Courage Classic and support the Children’s Hospital Foundation. Will you join us with your generous donation to ensure bright futures for kids like Gabi?
Since Gabi’s birth five years ago, she has benefited from the exceptional care and skill of countless specialists at Children’s Hospital. It began with their discovery, when she was just weeks old, that she was unable to eat or drink on her own without aspirating into her lungs, nor could she keep any of the food or liquids in her stomach. Surgery was immediately required to place a feeding tube through which she could safely be fed and to fix the severe reflux. She has since been through five other surgeries and countless procedures, tests and treatments to diagnose and treat heart defects, vision problems, muscle tone problems, sleep apnea and an array of challenges related to what's known as Sensory Processing Disorder which, among other things, cause poor balance and challenges to her motor coordination. Children’s has literally made the difference of life and death to Gabriella and our family!
Gabi underwent two surgeries last year that have significantly improved her health - one to patch a hole in her heart and another to remove the feed tube from her stomach that was placed shortly after birth. During these hospital stays, we were able to visit with staff and learn more about how the money we raise for Children’s Hospital Foundation helps its patients. Though Gabi and our family have experienced so many challenges, they pale in comparison to the thousands more children and families that suffer much graver medical issues. And we have been very fortunate to be able to weather the financial costs and to adjust our lives to give Gabi the support she needs. Other families are not so fortunate, and instead suffer loss of work and income, unbearable travel expenses and mental health affects, among others, that sometimes make it impossible for them to get their children the care they desperately need. Children’s Hospital Foundation makes it possible for so many children and families to receive care that they would not have otherwise.
We are so grateful for the caliber of care, the expertise and the love provided to Gabriella by the exceptional staff of Children’s Hospital. They have given my wife Lori and me peace of mind when at times we were exhausted and overwhelmed with fear. Without them, Gabi might not have made it to be with us today at all!
So I ride to thank Children's Hospital for all they've done for Gabriella and our family. And I'm asking for your generous donation to Children's Hospital to ensure other children can receive the medical care they need.