Give-A-Thon for Phoenix Children’s Hospital blog

Sep 24, 2014, 2:06 PM | Updated: Sep 25, 2014, 8:49 pm

Entering its 14th year, the Give-A-Thon benefiting Phoenix Children’s Hospital has helped thousands of children and their families deal with health crises.

The Give-a-Thon starts Wednesday afternoon.

First, a message from Pat McMahon:

When you donate to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, you are helping sick kids get better. You’re making sure that they have the technology, programs and research infrastructure that makes a hospital world class. To put it simply, you’re giving children the healthy futures they deserve.

Now, here’s how you can help: call 602-933-4567, go to, or text PCH to 620620.

Become a Monthly Miracle Maker. When you make a monthly pledge of $20 or more (or a single gift of $240 or more), a cuddly teddy bear will be given to a hospitalized patient in your name. Your gift will brighten a child’s day and help more kids receive the life-saving medical care they need at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. By becoming a Miracle Maker, you will also receive your choice of a pair of Phoenix Suns tickets, two free pizzas from Hungry Howie’s or a $20 Walgreens gift card.

A few facts about Phoenix Children’s Hospital:

• In 2013, Phoenix Children’s treated 137,358 unique patients, completed 214,045 physician appointments, performed 16,227 surgical procedures and cared for 78,553 patients in its emergency department.

• It costs $1.6 million to operate the hospital each day.

• The hospital operates satellite centers in Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Gilbert, Yuma and Avondale, offering specialty care during the day and urgent care on nights and weekends.

• The Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is home to one of only two neuro-NICUs in the nation.

6:55 p.m.:

The final toteboard for the Give-A-Thon benefiting Phoenix Children’s Hospital reads $1,177,168 after two days of generosity from Valley residents and businesses!

That’s a record for Give-A-Thon. Thanks, Arizona.

5:25 p.m.:

CenturyLink presents a check for more than $50,000! CenturyLink also brought employees to answer phones for a majority of the afternoon. A big thank you.

5:05 p.m.:

A fantastic family story.

Twin boys, Jordan and Joshua, were born with sickle cell anemia.

A blood test revealed that Jordan and Joshua had the most severe form of sickle cell anemia when they were 17 days old. Both their mother and father have the sickle cell gene, but neither have the disease.

They both received bone marrow transplants from their younger brother Jonathan and are now sickle cell free.

Both are now able to live normal lives and play sports, go to public school, swim, and go on vacation.

4:35 p.m.:

A great partner every year, Fry’s Food Stores presents a check for $7,000. We’re getting close to that goal of more than $1 million.

4:10 p.m.:

Last December Brett Wallick started to have some tightness in his chest. By the end of the month he was in the ICU at PCH with dilated cardiomyopathy.

He had a life-threatening infection that couldn’t be managed with medications and required a heart transplant. He had open heart surgery on Dec. 30, 2013.

On March 23, Brett received his heart transplant.

Brett’s family is very close to his transplant team and he considers PCH his second home. He wants to work at PCH after college.

Brett is doing well and back in school for his junior year of high school.

3:05 p.m.:

In February 2009, Anthony Sr. and Tyesha were in a car accident. Tyesha was 34 weeks pregnant with Anthony Jr.

They were both injured and rushed to St. Joe’s, where she had an emergency C-Section. Anthony Jr. had been deprived of oxygen for 45 minutes at that point. He was airlifted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Tyesha suffered a broken nose, severe facial lacerations and a concussion. She woke up with tubes in her throat and freaked out when she realized her baby was no longer in her stomach. She was told that he survived and was at PCH, but wasn’t told of his condition right away so that she could recover.

After Anthony Sr. arrived at PCH he found out his son had no brain activity and no brain waves. He was in a coma and had suffered a stroke and seizures.

The hospital has one of the few “Neuro NICUs” in the nation. Anthony Jr. had been put on what’s called “cooling therapy” to try to minimize the cascade of brain damage that occurs when a baby has a lack of oxygen.

After nearly three weeks of no brain activity, the family had meetings with the PCH team to discuss their options. They had a family meeting to decide what to do. They were very close to letting him go, when they saw signs of brain activity.

Today Anthony Jr. is an “outgoing, spunky 5-year-old with a fun-loving and amazing personality.”

For someone who almost didn’t make it, he truly loves life.

He is very determined and works hard in speech, physical and occupational therapy to overcome developmental delays.

During his discussion at Give-A-Thon Anthony Jr. exclaimed, “I’m living proof.”

2:35 p.m.:

More checks! Gila River Game Enterprises brings in a check for $10,000.

2:10 p.m.:

Shoni Entz was born prematurely at 28 weeks and was air lifted to PCH. She was missing her colon, bladder, genitals, and had one kidney, which doesn’t function properly. She was born without a pelvis and left hip socket. The organs she had were protruding from her abdomen.

Dr. McGill of PCH created a “roadmap” for how he would “put together” her body and make everything work. That’s exactly what he did.

She’s now 15-years-old.

1:50 p.m.:

Toteboard update is $579,780.

12:30 p.m.:

Thanks @Suns!

12:05 p.m.:

At Noon we have $453,057 and we start the second half of the day with the Arizona Coyotes calling in and giving a $5,000 donation to Give-A-Thon benefiting Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

11:40 a.m.:

Sponsors of the phone bank, Wells Fargo, presented a check to Give-A-Thon benefiting Phoenix Children’s Hospital for $10,000.

By Noon the Give-A-Thon will be nearing $500,000! Thank you.

11:25 a.m.:

Former Arizona Diamondbacks great Luis Gonzalez called in to make a donation of $1,000 to Give-A-Thon for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The Diamondbacks also recently gave the PCH Foundation $100,000.

Thanks D-backs!

11:15 a.m.:

This story is all to familiar for too many families in Arizona.

Brycen Head was pulled from the bottom of their pool without a pulse on November 12, 2013.

After first responders worked on Brycen for a couple of minutes he was brought to the emergency department at PCH and had regained a pulse, but they were not sure what the outcome would be. Doctors at PCH worked to stabilize him and minimize any injuries and damage.

He was unconscious for a couple days but eventually started responding to their voices.

Brycen is on his way to a full recovery.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital has been here to help him since day one.

10:20 a.m.:

10:00 a.m.:

When Kellie Miller was 22 weeks pregnant tests showed that her son Luke would be born with congenial heart defects.

He had his first open heart surgery to place a shunt when he was two weeks old. A month later he had another open heart surgery and a heart catheterization.

Before Luke’s surgeries, doctors prepared by using a life-sized 3D model of his heart that they created from a CT scan. It allowed doctors to plan the surgery and see the exact challenges they would face in surgery, reducing the risk somewhat. They also used the model to explain Luke’s condition and the surgical procedures to Luke’s parents (this is very unique, not many hospitals have this technology).

Today Luke is doing very well but still takes several medications.

He will need another surgery in the next year or so, but his pulmonary arteries must grow and he must get bigger before he can have that procedure.

9:10 a.m.:

Carter Brooks was born on Aug. 6. That night he had an echo cardiogram to confirm a narrowing of his aortic arch in his heart. The aortic arch sends blood and oxygen to the lower part of his body, and Carter’s was so narrow that blood flow was restricted and the valve was going to close.

The next week, when he was just days old, Carter had surgery to widen the aortic arch and then recovered for a few days in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit. He was able to go home ahead of schedule.

8:55 a.m.:

The Teddy Bear Express is going up to deliver bears to kids for the first of many times today. Become a Monthly Miracle Maker.

8:10 a.m.:

Tyler Stahlecker, 4, has acute lymphoblastic leukemia. After becoming aware of his condition they immediately went to PCH, which happens to be where his mom Jennifer works.

Being “on the other side of the bed” was something new for Jennifer.

Tyler is now in the maintenance stage of his condition. He understands a little bit about his diagnosis but thinks all kids have ports, and have to get shots.

He is still on oral chemo and receives shots at home but is doing well.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital is here for everyone in times of need.

7:55 a.m.:

After three hours the tote board reads $310,728. A great start to the day for Give-A-Thon for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

7:00 a.m.:

Bailey Fletcher was born on Valentine’s Day at five pounds, 12 ounces. Her parents had less than a 3 percent chance of having a baby.

When her mom, Mistique, was 20 weeks pregnant they found out their miracle baby had congential heart defects, Dandy Walker Syndrome (affects brain development), and a chromosomal deletion.

At six weeks old she was admitted to PCH for failure to thrive, jaundice and serious stomach issues.

Bailey ended up having to have two heart surgeries. After having the breathing tube from the second surgery removed, she stopped breathing for 45 minutes.

On Tuesday she will undergo surgery on her skull to reshape her forehead. Her forehead comes to a point, and if not corrected it will affect her vision and cause severe migraines.

Your donations help Bailey and thousands of other kids. Become a Miracle Maker today.

Here’s how you can help: call 602-933-4567, go to, or text PCH to 620620.


7:00 p.m.:

The final tote for Day 1 of the Give-A-Thon benefiting Phoenix Children’s Hospital reads $233,291. #GiveToPCH. We start Thursday at 5 a.m. Call 602-933-4567.

6:45 p.m.:

Trinity Peterson sang on the air last year.

We checked in with her a year later and she’s currently in remission from Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) after several rounds of chemotheraphy and surgery to have her femur removed.

6:15 p.m.:

Ridge Vanderbur has an aggressive form of acute Myeloid Leukemia. His dad Vince told his story.

Ridge hurt his arm playing archery. After it continued hurting, a doctor found that he had two blood clots. And then came the news of Myeloid Leukemia.

He goes to school at Corona del Sol and the entire community has come together to support him. He started chemotherapy in late July and is unsure how long he’ll need to be at the hospital.

5:45 p.m.

Bob Parsons donates $2,500 to Give-A-Thon benefiting Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

In a month, there is also Bob’s Biker Blast.

5:00 p.m.:

Toteboard after three hours reads $156,068! Great start!

4:45 p.m.:

Carl’s Jr. comes in with a donation of more than $19,000 to Give-A-Thon for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Companies in Arizona are stepping up big for children in the community.

4:30 p.m.:

Five kids from All Saints Episcopal Day School donated $2,200, which they collected from having a lemonade stand and collecting pledges from around their neighborhood.

Thank you kids.

4:15 p.m.:

The Fiesta Bowl presented a check for $5,000 to Give-A-Thon for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

4:05 p.m.:

Ty Roberson is 10 years old and has been diagnosed with Autoimmune encephalitis.

Ty’s illness started out as a headache and fever. Within days he couldn’t walk. After multiple tests, two MRIs and a spinal tap, they found swelling in his brain.

Dr. Condie of Phoenix Children’s Hospital diagnosed Ty with Autoimmune encephalitis, which means his immune system was attacking his brain. He became a quadriplegic; he was a mute and couldn’t move.

After more than two months in ICU, seeing a variety of specialists, and another two months in rehab to work on walking and talking, Ty started to show signs of progress. His first words were, “Go get me a cookie.”

He has a full-time caregiver, as he still needs assistance, but he is back in school and can talk and walk.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital was here and helped Ty. Your donations make a difference.

3:45 p.m.:

Karen Lyons and Dusty Deans with Benson Systems presented a check for $10,000 to Give-A-Thon benefiting Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

2:50 p.m.:

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Lorenzo Alexander came to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to present a check for $10,000 on the behalf of the Cardinals.

2:35 p.m.:

If you become a Monthly Miracle Maker, you can receive a $20 gift card from Walgreens.

Walgreens also gave a donation to Phoenix Children’s Hospital out of their own kindness. It was a big donation: $63,717!

2:25 p.m.:

When Manny Ortiz was 4 years old, he came to Phoenix Children’s Hospital because he couldn’t move his legs. His family suspected he had Dystonia, a muscle disorder.

In December 2013 at the age of 9, Manny underwent two surgeries for Deep Brain Stimulation. The first surgery implants electrodes deep in the brain. The electrodes are connected by a wire that travels under the skin to a pacemaker-like device, which is placed in the patient’s abdomen in a second surgery. The device sends electrical impulses to the brain.

Manny is doing well and is now able to run around.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

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Give-A-Thon for Phoenix Children’s Hospital blog