Yakima Children’s Miracle Network

Do you wonder what those yellow balloons they sell for $1 at Costco and various other retail outlets around town are all about?

The cashier asks if you would like to donate a dollar towards Children’s Miracle Network, and you dutifully say yes, because really, it’s just a dollar right?

The Children’s Miracle Network Hospital Champions Program honors remarkable children who have triumphed despite severe medical challenges. A child from every state and Washington D.C (51 total) have been selected as national ambassadors for the 17 million kids treated at a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is a Miracle Network Hospital. Together with Children’s Hospital in Seattle and Children’s Village they are making sure that every child who walks through their doors receives the best possible care available.

This year, Washington state is honored to select Tristan Kuhlman, 13-years-old, as the 2011 Miracle Ambassador. Tristan was 5-months-old when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that caused uncontrollable seizures. He underwent surgery to remove the tumor, but it came back after just three weeks. Tristan endured hundreds of seizures every day even with the help of medications and chemotherapy.

Doctors at Children’s Hospital explained that unless they removed the left side of Tristan’s brain, seizures would eventually kill him. The solution was a 4 hour hemispherectomy surgery.

From the beginning, Tristan has exhibited an internal strength that is astounding. There was a chance the surgery would prevent him from ever walking or talking, but the 13-year-old is an athletic, talkative teenager who loves karate, gymnastics, soccer, basketball and swimming.

So the next time you get asked if you would like to donate a dollar towards Miracle Children’s Network, say yes, and think of children like Tristan, who get wonderful medical services and a second chance at life.

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