The best and most rewarding part of my job is the work I do with Children’s Miracle Network®, a charity that raises funds for 170 nonprofit children’s hospitals across North America. The Dairy Queen® system has been a partner with Children’s Miracle Network® for over 29 years raising over $91 million in that time for sick and injured children.
Each year I am actively involved in the planning and executing of the DQ® annual Miracle Treat Day activities and other fundraising initiatives throughout the year. I always knew how important fundraising for hospitals was, but it wasn’t until last year when I needed the help of a children’s hospital that it really hit home.
In July 2011, my son, Oliver, was born at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, a Children’s Miracle Network® member hospital. Weighing in at nine pounds, 12 ounces, Oliver was a full-term, seemingly healthy baby, and my husband and I were overjoyed with his arrival. On his third day in the world, we were getting ready to go home when a nurse came into my hospital room without Oliver in tow and told us to sit down. Our baby had an unexplained fever, which is taken very seriously in newborns, and had been taken to the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
I felt like the ground had fallen out from under my feet and that my heart had been ripped out of my chest. Overcome with fear, tears spilled down my face and I felt incredibly helpless. Seeing Oliver in an incubator with tubes and wires everywhere was so frightening. All I wanted to do was to hold him and take him home, but I wasn’t allowed to. It was heart-wrenching.
Terms like dehydration, lumbar puncture and intense antibiotic treatment swirled around for the next couple of days and Oliver was cared for by a team of incredible nurses and doctors. I’m very happy to report that after 48 hours of intense round-the-clock care, Oliver was released to us with a clean bill of health. Those two days were the longest and most terrifying of my life, but I was incredibly comforted knowing that he was in the best possible hands.
We were very lucky that our baby boy wasn’t seriously ill. My husband and I saw other tiny babies in the NICU who had been there for days, weeks or even months. I’m sure that some of them never left. After this experience, my work with Children’s Miracle Network has even deeper meaning to me. I hope that we never need the hospital again, but if we do, I am comforted to know that it is there.
For more information or to donate to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, please visit:
Canada: Children’s Miracle Network®