Sunday, October 7, 2012

Children's Hospital of Orange County Walk in the Park 2012

It's that time of year again! This will be our 2nd annual Children's Hospital of Orange County Walk in the Park at Disneyland.  Last year we completed the 5K walk in honor of our daughter Paige and the eventful year we were then in the middle of.  We were only a month or so away from her next major surgery to fix her palate.  Her nose and lip were fixed at 3 months and her palate at 11 months at the main CHOC facility in Orange.  She also had two ear tube surgeries at 2 months and again at 11 months through CHOC, Mission Viejo. Like so many families and children in Southern California, we hold CHOC very near and dear to our hearts.
It's a special place with Children in mind, that is for sure.  It goes beyond fun colors and waiting room toys.  The care is truly the best.  Children are flown in from all over the county for any acute emergency needs and when we were told our daughter would have a cleft, there was so much comfort in knowing we had access to the very best care.  The Craniofacial Team is very amazing  and experienced.  They guided us through the end of my pregnancy, the first year of care and continue to be in our lives probably until Paige turns 18.  
When you enter the Hospital you will see signs of its close relationship with Disney. Disneyland is only a few miles away and characters and special events like the CHOC Walk help bring families together and cheer up small children going through amazingly difficult things adding a little more happiness in their lives.  When we stayed overnight for both of Paige's major surgeries we saw toys, movies and books to entertain littles and even adults who have to stay.  Children were often taken to tests or for a ride around their floor in red wagons.  A sweet black and white cocker spaniel, named Buddy, visited the rooms.  Volunteers came into see if there is anything to make our stay more comfortable and since we were there a few weeks before Christmas, Paige even got her own build a bear as a gift.  

These are some of the amazing things that help to cheer up the place.  But one thing I did notice in the wee hours of the night while holding my child, connected to machines, smelling like Beta-dine, and sedated, sometimes in pain and hoping she will eat more or act more like herself soon....we were in a hospital.  A place that so many children come in with way worse conditions than my daughter.  A place where little ones sometimes don't go home.  And this is when I am grateful for the amazing care and medical staff that provides for these children and tries to accommodate the families. I want everyone to have access to this care.  And through events like this Walk and donations from people like my friends, family and people like you reading this, they can offer care to all.  The Walk is coming up very shortly. We have one week to collect donations and I am asking for a final goal of $100 more, bringing my total to $555.  Please help me make this goal...with $5, $10, $20 or more. It is greatly appreciated by so many.

So I might have used my daughter to inspire donations. I thought it would be fun to get people involved by making a short term goal to raise $100 in 24 hours. If we reached that goal we would take Paige out for a Special Hot Fudge Sunday to celebrate.  She was so happy!! It really blew her mind that something to yummy existed in this world. And I hope those who contributed to make this happen enjoyed seeing her so incredibly excited! Thanks guys,

This is Paige and I at the CHOC Walk last year.  Ever since she was born we have made efforts to wear her in a baby carrier to keep her close and confident.  She loves it! And so do we.  Last year I wore her during the walk. She got to experience everything from up above and stay close to mommy, while we moved easily through the crowds of people. This year with my mommy group and friends I have met in the So-Cal Babywearers group on Facebook, I am leading a team of 10 adults, so far, plus babies and kiddos for the Walk.  Together we have raised almost $1000 for CHOC! You can join our team if you'd like or donate to one of the members who needs to raise a min. of $50 each.
Walk is Oct. 14th, 2012.

So-Cal Babywearers Team Donation Page

I have had fun designing a Team tshirt to inspire our team and share with others who we are and why we Walk.  It was a great experience last year seeing all the shirts from teams walking for so many different reason.  So many stories to tell.

I started with a basic idea and one of our local moms in the So-Cal group made our babywearing logo for our shirts really come to life, even adding the perfect touch of the Mickey ears to the sweet little baby. 

This is our group taking over Disneyland at one of our playdates. We have so much fun together. I am glad I get to share this experience with so many of them.  Many have really risen to the occasion and come out to support our local Children's Hospital by walking and raising donations of their own!