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Nine reasons to become a Champion of Hope during PCH Give-A-Thon

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PHOENIX — We’re proud to be hosting our 17th annual Give-A-Thon for Phoenix Children’s Hospital on Wednesday and Thursday, but we’re going to need your help.

We raised more than $1.5 million last year thanks to your generosity. We want to top that number this year and become the biggest radiothon in history.

That effort starts with you becoming a Champion of Hope for sick children at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

There are multiple ways you can donate. You can help spread the message by using the hashtag #ChampionsOfHope.

You can become a Champion of Hope by calling 602-933-4567 during the Give-A-Thon to make a donation or give your gift online.

Here are nine reasons to become a donor — or repeat your donation — this year.

PCH is treating more sick kids

Phoenix Children’s Hospital serves as the indispensable regional provider of high acuity care for patients with medically complex conditions such as cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, congenital heart defects and many other diseases. The number of medically complex children is growing at a rate of about 6 percent a year.

In addition, the severity of patients at Phoenix Children’s has continued to increase. Since 2009, the percentage of patients that have either major or extreme severity of illness has risen from 20 percent to more than 33 percent — a full one-third of patients.

One of those patients is Isaiah.

PCH is saving lives while fighting cancer

More than 80 percent of children diagnosed with cancer will survive. Each year, more than 300 kids and teenagers will learn they have cancer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital alone.

The hospital’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders treats more than 90 children each day.

The hospital has nearly 160 open cancer studies and is the only pediatric cancer treatment center in Arizona offering Phase 1 clinical trials. In fact, more than half of their patients with cancer participate in life-saving clinical trial research.

What’s more, the Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital serves as the epicenter of the nation’s largest childhood cancer initiative, making Phoenix Children’s Hospital leaders in the fight against childhood cancer.

Bruce is currently battling cancer. Watch his story.

PCH makes the hospital experience less scary

It’s hard for some adults to be hospitalized. Imagine being a child and spending days, weeks, or sometimes months at a hospital.

At Phoenix Children’s Hospital, specialists work with each and every patient, helping them cope with their diagnosis and treatment.

They use medical play and other age-appropriate techniques, they coordinate activities, special visits for the kids and oversee playrooms and the Child Life Zone — complete with air hockey, billiards, a gaming suite, and even a movie theater!

The hospital also offers 1 Darn Cool School, a place where patients can learn and keep up with their classwork while they receive treatment. The school also offers a summer camp program, school prom and even an annual back-to-school dance!

And don’t forget the therapy dogs.

Research saves more young lives

Research is the key to better diagnose, treat, and ultimately find cures for the diseases that afflict children. That’s why research is a priority for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Nearly every specialty at the hospital is engaged in research, collaborating with and sharing data with institutions worldwide on nearly 400 open research studies. With a better understanding of disease we can help them achieve their ultimate goal: To translate what is learned to the bedside care of their patients.

PCH performs thousands of surgeries annually

Providing care for the most complex medical problems in children requires a very sophisticated hospital system that can provide all the services necessary.

Last year, Phoenix Children’s Hospital performed nearly 16,500 surgeries.

Oftentimes, the surgery pales in comparison with the pre- and post-operative care that is necessary. It takes a very special hospital like Phoenix Children’s to do that properly.

Did you know that, in 2009, conjoined twins were separated at Phoenix Children’s? The surgery lasted more than 17 hours and included a team of more than 20 doctors and nurses.

The hospital also boasts the Children’s Heart Center, the Valley’s only pediatric heart transplant program. Meet Oliver, a Phoenix Children’s patient who was the youngest child in the U.S. to ever receive a heart transplant.

Treating kids takes a special set of skills

When it comes to treating kids, there’s a tremendous difference between adult and children’s hospitals. Pediatric physicians are better trained and equipped to deal with the specific issues children face:

• Nine out of every 10 children are taken to hospitals that don’t have the right equipment or staff to provide pediatric care. From child-sized needles to instruments sized for children of all ages, most hospitals are not fully prepared to care for children.

• Kids and adults are physically different and require different medical knowledge and equipment. If a doctor treating a child uses adult medicine as the point of reference, there is a bigger risk that something might go wrong.

• Pediatric hospitals better understand how to recognize the difference between fear and pain in children. They have the skills to alleviate fear, helping to avoid unnecessary medication.

• A doctor who sees kids day in and day out has probably seen enough cases of common childhood illnesses to know instantly what’s wrong. Pediatric experts are also more likely to have seen even the rarest diseases, illnesses a doctor who works mainly with adults may not see in an entire career.

• Illnesses and symptoms vary based on age and size of a patient. For example, having a child with respiratory syncytial virus can be very serious, even leading to respiratory failure. An adult with RSV just has mild, cold-like symptoms.

PCH treats a lot of children — you may know one

Last year, the hospital treated more than 161,000 patients. They never turn one away. In fact, they are the single-largest provider of pediatric services to low-income children in Arizona.

Within the next five years, 1 in 4 Arizona children will have received care from a Phoenix Children’s Hospital provider. That includes thousands of homeless and at-risk kids who receive free examinations, immunizations, mental health screenings and medications.

That includes nearly 83,000 visits to the Emergency Department each year.

The hospital is currently building a new Emergency Department and Trauma Center, which opens this fall, to accommodate the growing number of children who need these services. See how the trauma team helped Javonte.

PCH offers care no other hospital can

With 75 subspecialties and 433 beds, Phoenix Children’s Hospital is the sixth largest children’s hospital in the nation.  In Arizona it is the only facility to offer a:

• Neuro-NICU program
• Pediatric stroke program
• Pediatric heart transplant program
• Level 1 pediatric trauma center
• Pediatric hemodialysis program
• Kidney transplant program
• Maternal fetal medicine program

The facility’s NICU admits more than 1,300 babes each year. It is a Level IIIc nursery offering the highest level of care and cares for the most critically ill babies.

See how the hospital’s neuro-NICU saved Anthony’s life.

PCH is simply the best

For the seventh year in a row, Phoenix Children’s Hospital was placed in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.

It is Arizona’s only children’s hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals, providing world-class inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency and urgent care to children and families in Arizona and throughout the Southwest.

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