Hear stories from 2023 Give-A-Thon for Phoenix Children’s with KTAR, Arizona Sports

Aug 17, 2023, 1:00 PM

boy wearing grey shirt looks at camera Madison wearing glasses for picture Oliver smiling for the camera Ellie with a purple bow in her hair Leighton in her softball uniform on the field leighton with her teammates Christian in recovery, seen with family Scott Meyer with horse, wife and family girl with dog in hospital

PHOENIX — The 15th annual Phoenix Children’s Give-A-Thon, presented by Valley Hyundai Dealers and the Ak-Chin Indian Community, is underway on KTAR News and Arizona Sports.

The event will air at various times on all shows throughout the week before a return to in-person fundraising at the hospital on Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

On KTAR News 92.3 FM, it will air daily between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. and between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Arizona Sports.

Call the Yrefy Phone Bank at 602-933-4567, text “GIVE” to 411923 or 620620, or visit here to donate and receive more details.

Donations will go toward cutting-edge research, clinical programs, state-or-the-art equipment and family-friendly services that ensure the hospital can provide world-class care to each and every child that needs it.

Here are the stories from this year’s Phoenix Children’s Give-A-Thon who are living examples of the quality care provided at the hospital:

Luca, 1

Luca was born prematurely at 29 weeks, weighing just 2 pounds. His life was at risk because his lungs were underdeveloped. As a newborn, Luca endured two surgeries.

Madison, 11

Madison has several complex medical conditions that affect her digestive system, connective tissue and bones. Madison’s mom, Tamika, sensed something was wrong when Madison was an infant.

Madison is described as both tough and sweet at the same time.

Oliver, 12

Oliver was in the midst of a mental health crisis when his parents brought him to Phoenix Children’s emergency department. They had been turned away from another hospital that didn’t offer mental health services for children.

When they arrived at Phoenix Children’s, they knew they were in the right place.

Ellie, 10

As an infant, Ellie was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition that only 1 in 15,000 babies are diagnosed with in the United States.

Today, Ellie is a fashionista, an equestrian and a graceful dancer.

Leighton, died at 9 years old

Leighton was diagnosed with Stage IV Germ Cell cancer in May 2018 after experiencing stomach pains.

She was a talented athlete who loved baseball and hockey and received an overwhelming amount of support from the sports community. They surrounded her in support, and two of her teammates saved their heads with her in solidarity.

Leighton is survived by her parents, Jeremy and Carly and her three siblings, LeAnne, Larson and Locke. This is Leighton’s story.

Christian, 14

Christian suffered a traumatic brain injury in a dirt bike accident in fall 2022, a parent’s worst nightmare.

He was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s, where he underwent multiple brain surgeries and facial reconstruction.

Dr. Scott Meyer

In the summer of 2004, Scott Meyer had just graduated from Colorado State University with a doctorate in veterinary medicine. He was driving from Colorado to Southern California to start a new job and made detour to his hometown, Gilbert, Ariz. The radio happened to be tuned in to our annual Give-A-Thon.

As Dr. Meyer listened, he was inspired to take action. Meyer has been a Champion of Hope ever since.

Linda, 8

Just weeks before her due date, Linda’s mom learned that her unborn daughter had an extremely rare genetic condition which affects the development of the skeletal and reproductive systems. Children with this condition rarely live past their first year — and if they do, they’re on life support.

Nine years later, Linda has surpassed all expectations, mystifying medical professionals as she defies all predictions about her prognosis.

Stella, 9

A surgery to remove a tumor from Stella’s brain stem left her unable to talk, but her face would light up every time Yankee, the dog, visted.

The therapy program wouldn’t exist without the generosity of our community.

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We want to hear from you.

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Hear stories from 2023 Give-A-Thon for Phoenix Children’s with KTAR, Arizona Sports