It was late yesterday afternoon, and I was returning home from walking my dogs Shadow and Lulu. It is a ritual that happens daily, no matter what the weather. The dogs need to walk. It is what they know. It is what we do.
The sun was out, and I was approximately halfway through the walk when I heard it. The sound was the all too familiar, “THUMP, THUMP, THUMP,” of the rotor blades. I did what I always do. I stopped, and I waited.
As I looked up into the horizon I could see the Flight for Life helicopter slowly making its way through the sky. I watched as it moved with deliberate purpose; headed to some unknown location to pick up a very sick child. My stomach dropped, because I knew at that moment someone’s life was different. Something was happening to someone else, and I felt sad. I bowed my head and said a small prayer for the family of the child that would soon be inside the helicopter.
I hoped for strength for the parents and hoped that they realized the type of person that was coming to get their family member. I wanted to tell them to be confident in the team’s abilities. I have met the people who transport the very sick, and I knew their determination, their knowledge and their compassion. I knew that they would be doing their very best to safely take the child to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin where a team of doctors, nurses and caregivers would work tirelessly to make him or her well. It is what they know. It is what they do.
Dave, Kevin and I have been given the rare opportunity to take a glimpse into the world of this wonderful facility. We have experienced first hand how this hospital takes care of children. In fact, this hospital is not just experienced in taking care of children, it takes care of families. People go to work for Children’s Hospital for one reason – they love children. The children are their driving force.
Year after year we have met many of the young patients, and we have been touched by them all. They face various challenges and degrees of illnesses. We have learned that they are the teachers, and they have unbelievable strength and courage. The wisdom they display in dealing with their situation is inspirational.
It is through the kids that our listeners learn of the wonders of this wonderful hospital. We could not hold our Miracle Marathon without their stories. It is because of their stories that the city of Milwaukee has raised more than 11 million dollars in just a short number of years. During the marathon, May 20, 21 and 22, we will again ask our listeners to contribute. We need to keep this facility in “our backyard” so that others can benefit from it.
We ask your help in this endeavor. If you or your child would like to tell your story, we would love to hear it. We know that it could be difficult, but it is the stories that fuel the three days. It is a very special gift we are asking you to share. Will it be difficult? Yes. Could you get emotional? Yes. Please know that we will try to make it as easy as possible.
Won’t you help and join us May 20, 21 or 22? You can contact Erin Hareng at EHareng@chw.org if you’d like to share your story.
Dave and Carole host the Miracle Marathon each year on WKLH. Read Dave’s guest blog.