--Wal-Mart Sponsors Child’s Trip to Disney World and Washington D.C.--NAMPA, Idaho – Five-year-old Gracy Lancaster, of Nampa is this year's Children's Miracle Network Champion Child for Idaho. Gracy was recognized Thursday, May 12 at a special ceremony at the Franklin Road Nampa Wal-Mart Supercenter.
As the 2011 Champion, Gracy and her family will receive an all-expense paid trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and to Washington D.C. to participate in activities with other Champion Children. Gracy also received a $500 gift card from Wal-Mart to help purchase items for the trip.
Gracy has an “owie” on her heart. That’s the way she describes Wolff Parkinson White syndrome, a heart condition in which she has extra electrical pathways in her heart that can lead to episodes of rapid heart rate.
From birth to age four, medications helped Gracy manage her heart rate until one morning, unexpectedly; Gracy went in to full cardiac arrest.
Doctors attempted several cardiac ablations to fix her arrhythmia, but the procedures were unsuccessful. Gracy’s pathways are so rare that doctors were left with only one option: a very risky open heart surgery.
Four days after surgery, Gracy was on her feet roaming the hospital hallways, and she hasn’t slowed down since. Gracy will continue to be monitored, but so far doctors say she has made excellent progress. She shares her sunny personality wherever she goes, proving that she will cheerfully overcome whatever obstacles come her way.
Each state will be represented by a Champion who is winning the fight against serious medical challenges or who have survived a trauma incident. In October the Champions will take to the road on a tour that will highlight the important work being done at children’s hospitals across the country.
The tour begins October 16th when Gracy and the other Champions take a trip Washington, D.C. where they’ll meet their senators on Capitol Hill and proudly represent the nearly 17 millions Champions being treated each year at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals around the nation.
Next, they’ll be off to sunny Orlando, Florida for a fun-filled celebration at Walt Disney World wrapping up their trip on October 23rd.
Each year, the Children's Miracle Network chooses a child from each state who has triumphed despite severe medical challenges to participate in the Champions Across America program presented by Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.
The program honors the child and helps raise awareness of the important work being done at children's hospitals. St. Luke's Children's Hospital is the only Children's Miracle Network affiliated hospital in Idaho.
Since 1987, Children’s Miracle Network and Wal-Mart have worked together to help children by raising money for children’s hospitals. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club associates, customers and members have raised and contributed more than $500 million for children’s hospitals.
Follow Gracy’s story at www.2011idahochampion.blogspot.com
About Children’s Miracle Network
Children's Miracle Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals. Each year, the 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. To learn more go to www.childrensmiraclenetwork.org.
About Philanthropy at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Wal-Mart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Wal-Mart Foundation supports initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. In 2007, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.
About St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital
St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital in Idaho, treats more than 50,000 children every year, including 28,000 who visit its Pediatric Emergency Department. St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital provides expert care to critically and chronically ill infants and children. These patients are routinely
referred to St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital from a multistate region for a variety of services including heart surgery, cancer treatment, orthopedics, neurological disorders, newborn intensive care, and rare infectious diseases. For more information visit www.stlukesonline.com.
Ken Dey served as Public Relations Coordinator at St. Luke's from 2008-2014.