Experiential excursion and the power of place

This is a guest post by John Makowiec, a sophomore at New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, Ill.

Last December I started a charity called Cards2Kids. Ever since I visited the local hobby shop, Bleachers, at age five, all I have been interested in is sports cards. I want to allow others, especially those less fortunate, to have the same joy of collecting sports cards. Moreover sports cards are educational as well. They teach math skills and memorization skills through the stats on the back, reading skills through the player info excerpt on the …Continue reading →

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Admirals: One cool partnership

Milwaukee AdmiralsHave you been down to the Bradley Center yet this season for a Milwaukee Admirals game? No? Well, I have a really cool invitation for you. Come on out to the Admirals game on Sunday, Feb. 26, because we’re teaming up with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. For every ticket sold for our 3 p.m. game against the San Antonio Rampage, $2 will be donated to Children’s Hospital. We’re even offering special discount …Continue reading →

Sharing the most appreciated gifts of the holidays

The week between Christmas and New Year’s brings a bit of a reprieve when I like to take a moment to quietly reflect on how the holidays are going. The lists were made and checked twice. Holiday gatherings with family and friends were full of sweet treats and good cheer. We shared gifts and many boxes were unwrapped.

But if we think “outside the box,” what really makes this time of year so special? I think being with loved ones is what we all …Continue reading this post

Kick back with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Wave

Every month, I’m reminded how lucky we are at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to have great partners in our community. The Milwaukee Wave soccer players play bingo and other games with our patients. It’s something our patients really look forward to, and it’s amazing to me how comfortable these players are just hanging out with the kids.Milwaukee Wave

Now you too have an opportunity to make a difference for the kids at Children’s Hospital. Right now you can buy tickets to the Milwaukee Wave game on Friday, Dec. 16 at …Continue reading this post

There’s no stopping Sofi

I first met Sofi May 6, 2008, the day after she was admitted to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. She was suffering from progressive weakness, making it difficult for her to breathe. She was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disease that causes the body to attack its own nerves. Sofi’s disease progressed through her body, nearly causing complete paralysis. Soon after our meeting, she …Continue reading this post

What I’ve learned as a critical care staff physician at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

I grew up in Milwaukee, attended Marquette University High School, Marquette University and The Medical College of Wisconsin. My first experience with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin was as a patient during the summer of 1987. The hospital was on Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee, just a few blocks away from the starting line …Continue reading this post

Meet me at the starting line

I am on call tonight at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the unit is relatively quiet. Margaret, a nurse I’ve worked with for many years, stops by to ask me if we’re having a critical care team for this year’s Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk for Children’s Hospital. We laugh at how we’re not as fast on our feet as we used to be. And yes, I tell Margaret the Honey Bees team, started by Dr. Tom Rice, will be walking again in Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk. Some of the funds raised will benefit …Continue reading this post

Why my family supports the Care-A-Van for Kids radiothon

The following post was contributed by an anonymous guest author.

I was abused from the ages of 6-17 by my stepdad. He did this at my most vulnerable times, while I was sick, injured or alone. I’d say to myself, “this can’t be real. I have to be going crazy,” and I just buried everything until the next time. He abused my older sister when she was about 10 years old. He was confronted, he denied it and nothing was ever done about it. The physical abuse stopped after she told our mom, but the emotional abuse continued. …Continue reading this post

And a child shall lead them

A friend of mine was lamenting recently that the Green Bay Packers winning the Super Bowl should have united the entire state for at least 6 months. He was shocked by how quickly the euphoria faded.  It’s been such a volatile, eventful year that the streamers littering the field in Dallas, Texas seems like a distant memory. Since that joyous day when the Lombardi trophy was awarded, Wisconsin has become a state divided. Budget repair, recalls, recounts, petitions, protests are all words that have become part of our everyday vernacular. And even the most beloved football team in America couldn’t help us forget just how nasty things have been for those of us who live behind the cheddar curtain.

So, if the Packers can’t unite us, who can? The answer can be found in Isaiah 11:6 (and I will readily admit I had to look that up : ) “and a little child shall lead them.”

If there’s one thing I know about the people of this fine state, it’s that we take care of those in need. Especially our kids. Each and every year, for over 25 years, I watched in awe as hundreds of volunteers united to make the ‘KLH Christmas is for Kids party happen. Wisconsin ranks among the top states in the USA for volunteering. It’s just this simple; we know when it’s time to step up and make a difference. I’ve seen it time and time again. When an elderly neighbor needs help shoveling out after a storm, we help. It’s simply a matter of humanity. We have an innate ability to know when it’s time to step up.

This is that time. When it comes to our kids, it doesn’t matter if you’re a member of a Union or a Tea Party. Politics, race, color, creed, country of origin; none of that matters to a sick child. “And a little child shall lead them.” Those little children are what the Miracle Marathon is all about. It’s about understanding that, despite everything that’s going on around us, you have been given a tangible, legitimate, and meaningful opportunity to affect the future of a sweet, innocent child. Looking for something to bring us all together? How about the innocence, purity and unconditional love of a child?

And as you tune in to 96.5 WKLH and listen to the Miracle Marathon (May 26-27), keep this in mind: “There but for the grace of God (go I).”

Donate here.

~ Dave Luczak, 96.5 WKLH

A word about family as we prepare for the Miracle Marathon

I’m writing this on May 17, my daughter’s 22nd birthday. May is a busy month for my family. There’s Mother’s Day, Elizabeth’s birthday, my wedding anniversary and, of course, the Miracle Marathon. It’s a month totally consumed with families, mine and otherwise.

This will be the 14th Miracle Marathon for Dave and me. Every year, we get to meet new families, new patients, new kids and new doctors, and we get to visit with some old ones, too.  Every year, I learn something new and it’s not always a good thing. Every year, there is a new illness, a new problem and always a new loss.

I approach each Miracle Marathon with slight trepidation because I never know what the new year will bring. But, the one certain that I always walk away with as the marathon ends is that family is everything. In this time of great uncertainty, the one constant always is family.

When you become a parent, it is one of the greatest days of your life. You dream of the future and the days to come and wonder what your child will grow up to be and how your family will blossom. You never dream of sickness and disease or struggle and pain.

Unfortunately, these are the issues facing many families and patients at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. It’s a terrible thing to be told that your child is ill. It’s the beginning of a terrible journey, and the future is so uncertain. Every parent wants to just wave a magic wand and make it all go away. It’s your child. It’s your family.

I have great admiration for the doctors and caregivers here at Children’s. There is no task too great, no request too big or too small. This is a hospital made for the specific purpose of healing families. It is an amazing thing to watch and an amazing thing to experience. We all try to be the best parents we can be, but sometimes we need some help along the way, and I’m grateful that Children’s is here. The people at Children’s know what we as parents don’t, and they are here to help with situations we can’t fix. They’re family.

So, on this special day – my daughter’s 22nd birthday – I salute the families and the patients and the doctors and caregivers. I’m glad that they are a part of my family, too.

-Carole Caine, WKLH 96.5.