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CMN helps those that need it most

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By Elizabeth Hjelvik

Every minute, 62 children are admitted to a children’s hospital.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website, one out of six discharges from United States hospitals is a child and in 2009, there were 6.4 million hospital stays for children ages 17 and younger.
Despite the need for care, not all families are able to pay the medical bills incurred by a hospital stay. That’s where the Children’s Miracle Network comes in.
There are 170 hospitals throughout the United States and Canada, which Children’s Miracle Network — an organization that raises money for hospitals — donates to.
The University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque is one of these CMN hospitals and children treats more than 57,000 children every year from New Mexico, Eastern Arizona, Southern Colorado and West Texas.
Clint Curry, a CMN representative, said that the goal of CMN is to raise awareness of children’s hospitals.
Children’s Miracle Network began in 1983 and is celebrating its 30-year anniversary this year. Since it was established, CMN has raised more than $4.7 billion.
The funds go toward all types of programs, including robotic surgical equipment and cutting-edge research programs. The funds also go toward uncompensated medical care.
CMN’s fundraising efforts are done at a local level, but according to the CMN website, some corporate partners that support the organization include Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Costco.
Curry said that 60-65 percent of CMN’s funds come from the register campaigns that take place at those stores.
A register campaigns happens when a person goes to the checkout and the cashier asks if the person would like to make a contribution to CMN.
High schools also help raise money through dance marathons. Every school year, there is $14 million raised from these events.
In addition to the local efforts, CMN is also working on making a national event for the organization.
They are also trying to encourage a digital fundraiser in which a person makes a profile via the CMN website, telling their story and people donate to that page.
The digital fundraiser would also include social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The organization provides a Champion program that recognizes children that CMN hospitals have helped.
Each year, the program picks one child from each state as that state’s Champion. New Mexico’s 2013 Champion is Saray (last name not provided) who battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
After going through six sessions of chemotherapy and 30 days of radiation treatment, Saray is now in remission.
The champions from all states will meet in Orlando, Fla. and Washington, D.C. to be interviewed, meet celebrities and go to the Walt Disney World resort in celebration for going through their medical treatments.
Since its establishment in 1983, the Children’s Miracle Network has helped countless hospitals and children and continues to do so by finding new ways to raise funds for those in need.
For more information, visit childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org.