Children’s Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for 170 children’s hospitals across North America.
Children’s Miracle Network’s founding pledge, to keep 100% of donations in the local area in which they are raised, remains at the core of its philosophy.
Children’s Miracle Network has also evolved to become the dominant organization actively providing better healthcare for millions of children through its associated hospitals. The 170 children’s hospitals affiliated with Children’s Miracle Network represent the premier facilities in their respective communities, and some of the finest hospitals in the world.
Shodair Children's Hospital joined Children’s Miracle Network in 1987, and is the only Children’s Miracle Network-affiliated hospital in Montana. One hundred percent (100%) of the funds raised through the Children’s Miracle Network Program in Montana stay in Montana to help Shodair Children's Hospital to provide the finest psychiatric care to our young patients in a supportive family-centered environment.
For more information about Children’s Miracle Network giving, please contact Tom Figarelle at (406) 444-7548 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet our Champion Child
Montana’s 2012 Children’s Miracle Network Champion: Samantha Faulkner
Samantha Faulkner seems wise beyond her ten years. It’s not just her steady gaze and intelligence that captivate anyone who meets her; it’s her drive to succeed despite her disabilities that make her a remarkable girl. These are just some of the qualities that make Samantha Montana’s 2012 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion.
At one month of age, Samantha was diagnosed with collagenopathy, thanks to the specialists in Shodair Children’s Hospital’s Medical Genetics Department. This specialized team worked with the Faulkners to clarify Sam’s diagnosis and to help them set a treatment plan in motion. In 2007, Sam was diagnosed with an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT), which reoccurred nearly a year later, and again last year. The reccurances were monitored by Seattle Children’s Hospital and Samantha’s local pediatrician. IMT is a lifelong disease requiring ongoing treatment.
Sam continues to be seen by Shodair’s genetics team at outreach clinics in Great Falls, a short distance from her home in Ulm. Shodair’s specialists recently further refined Samantha’s genetic diagnosis to one of Stickler’s syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that can include retinal detachment, hearing loss, and mild precocious arthritis.
Samantha’s connection to Shodair actually began before she was born. Her mother, Erin, was seen by the hospital’s genetics specialists as a teen regarding her short stature. Several years later, Erin was seen again at Shodair for some answers regarding issues with her vision, hearing, and joints, leading to a diagnosis of Stickler’s syndrome for Erin as well.
Perhaps it’s a combination of her family’s medical challenges and her empathy for others that are driving Samantha’s desire to become an OB/GYN someday. “It would be interesting,” she explains in her matter of fact way. “I like science, I like babies, and I like doctors.”
As part of Samantha’s ongoing care, her treatment team also includes vision, hearing, and orthopedic specialists. With their help, she participates in school and sports with plenty of enthusiasm and a few accommodations. In addition to Sam wearing a hearing aid in each ear, her interpreter from the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind helps her keep pace with what’s going on in her fourth-grade classroom at Lewis and Clark Elementary in Great Falls. To participate in soccer, Samantha trades her eyeglasses for contacts and special goggles she calls “rec specs” in order to minimize the chance of a detached retina occurring.
This young Champion is excited about what lies ahead in the coming year as she serves as Montana’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion, joining over 50 other young ambassadors from across the nation participating in the Champions program.
In September, Sam and her family will fly to Washington DC, where they’ll meet champion children from around the country. There, the Champions will also tour the White House and are tentatively scheduled to meet President Obama. In addition to the White House visit, the Champions will have a chance to visit with their senators and representatives during a luncheon on Capitol Hill.
From Washington, DC, Samantha, her family, and the other Champion children will fly to Orlando, where they will take part in the annual Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Celebration. These special ambassadors and their families will be treated like royalty by Walt Disney World and enjoy free access to all the resort’s theme parks.
Samantha and the other special champions from all 50 states and Canada represent children’s health care needs and hospitals that provide critically-needed care to numerous young patients every day. Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, the alliance of premier hospitals for children, is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals across North America.
Shodair has served the needs of Montana’s children for 116 years, and is one of the 170 premier children’s hospitals included in the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals alliance. It is Montana’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, and the only facility in the state to offer both residential and acute psychiatric treatment in one location. In addition to specialized psychiatric care for Montana children and adolescents, Shodair provides comprehensive medical genetic services to patients of all ages throughout the state.