Vincent Forseth, 12, received a heart transplant at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin a week before his seventh birthday. He was selected for his courage to represent Wisconsin for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champions program in 2011. Vincent was the first child in the Midwest to receive a Berlin Heart, a ventricular assist device, to keep him going until a donor heart could be found. Champions like Vincent have dealt with a wide variety of injuries and illnesses. A special ceremony was held for Vincent Wednesday at a Walmart store in Madison, where he was surprised with a $500 shopping card, a performance from the University of Wisconsin marching band and a football jersey from his favorite coach, Bret Bielema.

The Champions travel for a week in October. First they go to Washington, where they meet with their state senators on Capitol Hill and the President during a visit to the White House. From Washington, they take a private chartered flight, to Orlando, Fla. There, champions meet Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals sponsors, hospital representatives and media partners who all convene to celebrate a year of medical miracles during the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Celebration event at Walt Disney World Resort.

Vincent shared his excitement in a note to our readers:
It feels great to go on a vacation and I feel lucky to have been picked to go. I am really excited to go to Disney World. I want to go to water parks, meet Mickey Mouse and meet lots of new friends who were very sick like me. In Washington, I can’t wait to meet President Obama and to see all of the monuments. I will try to do a good job of helping CMN raise lots of money to help all of the sick kids and hopefully there will be no more sick kids to help.

View pictures from Vincent’s adventures:

Champions is a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals program that brings attention to the important work being done at its 170 children’s hospitals. It does this by honoring 51 remarkable kids who have faced severe medical challenges and helping them tell their stories. Today, Vincent plays soccer, football, baseball, basketball and more.

~ Keri Brunelle, Fundraising Manager for Chldren’s Hospital and Health System Foundation

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