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Children's Miracle Network[Part_1]

Children's Miracle Network at CoxHealth helps area children who are ill or injured in a variety of ways. In this segment of Sense of Community, Michele Skalicky introduces you to a family that has benefited from this organization and talks to CMN Director Susan Scanlon.

Danielle Roeder is a typical 7-year-old in many ways. Her favorite television star is Zac Efron from High School Musical. She loves to sing along with Elvis tunes. Her favorite subjects in school at Willard Central Elementary are math, reading and social studies. And she knows what she wants to be when she grows up

But in other ways, Danielle is far from a typical kid. A little more than a year ago she couldn't even hold up her head. Danielle was diagnosed with L-Dopa Responsive Dystonia by doctors at the Mayo Clinic in August of 2005

Danielle's mom and dad Suzanne and Greg Roeder began to suspect something wasn't right with their daughter when she was only a few months old

The Roeders got to know a lot of area doctors and therapists as they worked for years to try to help their daughter and find out what was wrong with her. For 6 ½ years, Danielle relied on her parents for everything

It's difficult for parents when their children scrape their knees, let along struggle with a debilitating illness. Suzanne and her husband Greg went thru a physically and mentally exhausting 6 and a half years as they kept hoping that they'd find a way to help their only child

But the Roeders never gave up hope that the little girl they knew was in there would one day emerge. Their miracle came when they took Danielle to the Mayo Clinic last fall

When the Roeders got the call that Danielle finally had a diagnosis they also received the news they'd been hoping for all along—the condition is treatable with medication as well as physical and occupational therapy. According to her mom, Danielle has improved in every possible way since she's been on medication

The Roeders—Danielle included—are determined she'll walk someday

She has some severe orthopedic issues with her hips because, since she was never able to use them, they didn't form properly. So, next summer Danielle will have surgery to try to correct them.

Not only will 2007 bring hope that Danielle will walk, but she's also been chosen as the Children's Miracle Network Missouri Champion Child. Next Spring, the family will fly to Washington D.C. to try to raise awareness of that non-profit organization, then they'll go to Disney World to take part in the taping of the national segment of the Children's Miracle Network Telethon.

Danielle is excited to be the CMN MO Champion Child, and she's equally excited about the upcoming trip. She hopes to meet the President of the United States and her favorite actor—Zac Efron.

And she's made some new friends at CoxHealth's Children's Miracle Network

Children's Miracle Network at CoxHealth played a large role in the Roeder's quest to find out what was wrong with their daughter. They helped financially when insurance didn't cover all of the doctor and therapy bills. They've also helped with travel expenses

Susan Scanlon is director of Children's Miracle Network at CoxHealth. She says the hospital gives the CMN office a budget each year to run the office, pay salaries for its 5 employees and to fundraise

And Scanlon says it's local children who benefit

It's not just CoxHealth patients who benefit from CMN. Anyone can apply to receive assistance from the organization. There are five main ways Children's Miracle Network helps families.

There are the family care grants that help families pay for hospital bills or therapy.

The special needs fund provides money for things like medicine and medical equipment

The CARE Mobile, a mobile medical clinic, offers immunizations and well-child visits to those who otherwise might not be able to afford them

Children's Miracle Network also provides educational programs including WASTED, which discourages high school students from drinking and driving and the shaken baby program, which teachers parents and caregivers how to avoid getting to the point where they might shake a baby and also teaches signs to watch for that might indicate a baby has been shaken.

CMN also provides medical equipment to area hospitals, ambulances and schools that they otherwise might not be able to purchase

There are 170 Children's Miracle Network affiliates in the U.S. and Canada. Every hospital they are affiliated with has to pay, at the minimum, the membership fee to have a CMN affiliate. But some hospitals, like CoxHealth, choose to pay all of the operating costs so that 100% of funds raised go to children.

This afternoon at 4:36 as a SOC continues, learn more about Children's Miracle Network and go inside the CARE Mobile as it makes a stop at an area elementary school.

This program is available on the web at For KSMU and the SOC series, I'm Michele Skalicky.