Why I created Team Joey and participate in Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk

Joey spent 74 days at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Joey is now 20 months old.

On Dec. 13, 2011, my son Joseph “Joey” Raymond Esselmann was unexpectedly born at 26 weeks gestational age. He weighed 1 pound, 15 ¾ ounces and was 13 inches long.

The doctors were unsure if Joey would survive, and if he did, whether he would have long-term complications. He spent …Click here to continue reading

An extra dose of fun: How a gaming marathon supports Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Extra Life gaming marathon

Gamers rally friends and family members to sponsor their play.

Members of the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Teen Advisory Council, guided by Child Life specialists, recently participated in a 4-hour video game marathon through an organization called Extra Life. This group sponsors a 24-hour gaming marathon that supports local children’s hospitals and enables groups all over the U.S. to host their own gaming nights to raise money for children’s …Click here to continue reading

Give, advocate and volunteer: What it means to live united

United Way of Greater MilwaukeeThe United Way of Greater Milwaukee recently announced a $51.5 million goal for this year’s community campaign. I am proud to be serving as a co-chair for the campaign because I know the best way to build a strong community it to unite with people around three fundamental issues: education, income and health.

This is an opportunity to showcase Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as a leader in advancing …Click here to continue reading

Why participating in Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk has become a passion for my family

Jack Palmen

Jack graduated from high school in June 2011.

In July 2008, our lives changed forever. My seemingly perfectly healthy 15-year-old son, Jack was flown by Flight for Life to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. He had a ruptured brain arteriovenous malformation and was rushed into surgery. The condition happens when arteries in the brain connect directly to nearby veins without having the normal vessels (capillaries) between them. I believe he would not be alive today if not for the doctors, surgeons and staff at Children’s Hospital.

The care Jack received was incredible, and the support and compassion shown to our family was off the charts. When Jack arrived at Children’s Hospital, he only had a 4 percent chance of …Click here to continue reading

Honoring Alyssa’s spirit by supporting Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

With four healthy boys running around we never gave a second thought to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Then our fifth child and only girl, Alyssa, came along. She brightened our world in countless ways. Not long after her birth, it became clear that Alyssa had some unique health issues. Through her, we discovered how special Children’s Hospital is and how fortunate we are to have it in our backyard.

Alyssa was born with clubfeet in September 1988. By the time she was 6 months old, she was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder that affects …Click here to continue reading

Why we support Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk for future patients and families

Lucas

Lucas was born with Tetralogy of Fallot.

Raising money for Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk for Children’s Hospital is important to my family because it allows us to help other families benefit from the best medical care.

My name is Amy Randall. In April 2011, our son, Lucas, was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect. This diagnosis rocked our world. We soon learned congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect.

Days after Lucas’s birth, we met cardiologist Margaret Samyn, MD, in the Herma Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. My husband and I were worried and in shock. Dr. Samyn …Click here to continue reading

Thanks for your generosity and support

Last week we raised $1.3 million during the Dave & Carole Miracle Marathon for Children’s Hospital. The generosity I witnessed during this year’s radiothon was inspiring. I want to thank everyone that made a donation during the radiothon, and all the patients and families that participated by sharing their stories of hope, recovery and healing.

Dave Luczak and Carole Caine from 96.5 WKLH did an amazing job broadcasting live from Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. If you listened during the radiothon, you know how …Click here to continue reading

Our precious daughter Kendra

Kendra McGarry

Kendra McGarry

Our fourth daughter, Kendra, was born on September 29, 2003. My husband and I were very blessed to bring home another beautiful little girl. Kendra had a few minor issues right after she was born. She was sick a few times, but we were not overly worried about any major medical issues. Our oldest had been sick a few times when she was an infant, but I learned she was much better if I stopped nursing her and changed to formula.

We tried this for Kendra and it seemed to help for a little while. Unfortunately, she continued to projectile vomit. Soon after, she was admitted to the local hospital for a test to find out what was going on. We learned Kendra’s urine was going the wrong direction. If this hadn’t been detected, Kendra could have ended …Click here to continue reading

How child abuse changed the lives of Marge and Chip

I hear a lot of heartbreaking stories about child abuse. You might think this would make my job difficult, and sometimes it does. But people often share their stories because they’re proud of the lives they lead now and who they’ve become. They believe strongly in the important work Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin does through child abuse prevention and intervention programs.

One such couple, Marge and Chip, wanted me to share their stories with you. …Click here to continue reading

I am the second oldest of 16 kids, and we were all abused

If my mother had gotten help, today I would be one of 16 emotionally and physically happy adults. But that’s not the case.

If my mother had gotten help, today 21 grandkids wouldn’t have to be constantly watched to make sure they don’t face the same issues. But that’s not the case.

I’m often asked if I would change the way I grew up. You’d think I would, but that’s not the case. I wouldn’t, because now I’m happy with who I am. Now I find myself with a unique …Click here to continue reading