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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Essay #4 - Why Children's Hospital- 10/15/2009

As you know, I have elected to submit an essay to the Faygo contest to win a Wii. As I've stated, I intend to donate this to-either Children's Hospital of Detroit, or Ronald McDonald House. I'm currently in sixth place, and the essays that finish with the top five vote totals win. Many of you have voted, and I greatly appreciate your support. You can continue to vote, once per email address per day. I'm currently voting on five different email addresses per day. The link is below.

I have two experiences to shed light on how arrived at these two potential recipients.

The first takes place at a hotel called Weber's in Ann Arbor, in October of 2003. My wife was 8 months pregnant with my son. We met another couple, Bill and Sue, in the hot tub--they were from San Antonio. Their friends and family chipped in to give them a night away from the Ronald McDonald house, where they had been staying for months. Their son, Logan, was born prematurely, with complications. He was on life support at University of Michigan Hospital. Bill described how well the Ronald McDonald house treated them--the cost per day was that they had to "do a chore"--vacuum, wash dishes, etc. We exchanged information. The husband, "Bill", said he would keep Colleen in his prayers. We promised to keep Logan in our prayers.

A few weeks later, our son was born, very healthy. I thought about Bill and Sue and Logan. I checked the "Logan Update" website that they had provided, and found a Logan Memorial with a list of sympathies from those same family members and friends. That put everything in perspective.

The second experience takes place in December of 2001, a week or so after my daughter was born. We were informed that she had a cavity one of the chambers in her heart, which was causing a slight murmur. As a new parent, you don't really know how to process this type of information.

The pediatrician scheduled testing at Children's Hospital in Detroit. Having gone to school for four years in Detroit, my expectations were LOW. However, we were overwhelmed with how accommodating they were in the Cardio center. The doctors and nurses at Children's Hospital really went out of their way to answer our dumb, over-protective parent questions as though they weren't dumb. We made a few follow-up visits over the next year, and eventually, the hole closed up and everything was fine.

The real thing that I remember about Children's Hospital is the faces of the other parents coming and going. They all looked like concerned parents like me, trying to do what was best for their son or daughter. I know that not all of them received the same "good news" that I did. I frequently place myself in the shoes of one of the "bad news" parents. I think about how difficult that would be, and how nice it might be to share a smile with their child amidst all of the doom and gloom.

That's why I have chosen Children's Hospital.

I contacted Ellen Burton, one of the people who manage donations at Children's Hospital. She told me "Yes, our Child Life Division uses the Nintendo Wii….Thank you for thinking of us and please let me know, when you win”. And so, I am asking you. Please vote for my essay, once per day—it takes literally 30 seconds. Please ask your friends to do the same. Help me to give something back.

Here is the link:



  1. I really hope you win. I am voting every day and posting this link on my FB page.

  2. Thanks Shondira. If I win, so does everybody who helped me get there.