Two year-old Owen Hart, like most toddlers, loves his family, playing outside, and all his special toys. When his mother, Amy Burge, noticed several bruises on her son that wouldn’t heal, she took him to the doctor and got the news no parent wants to hear. Her child had cancer.
“I was devastated and lost,” said Burge. “I had no family here. It’s the middle of a pandemic, and I was alone. I had no idea how we were going to get through it.”
Owen was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and admitted at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Thankfully, the pediatric oncology team had every resource available to treat Owen close to home. As a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals partner, Golisano receives support from its affiliated fundraising campaigns, like the upcoming Publix Miracles campaign.
The Publix Miracles campaign runs from June 3rd through June 14th, and during that time, “miracle coupons” will be given to Publix customers who make a donation while at the register. The coupon booklet offers up to $20 in savings from vendors like Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal, Mars (Mars Petcare, Mars Chocolate and Wrigley), Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola and Dasani, Georgia Pacific (Angel Soft Bath Tissue and Sparkle Paper Towels), Oil-Dri (Cat’s Pride®), Red Bull and Frito Lay.
“We are so grateful to our community for coming out to support our young patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital,” said Chris Simoneau, Lee Health’s Chief Foundation and Development Officer. “We continue to be blown away by the region’s generosity, and we encourage everyone who is able to take part in the Publix Miracles campaign. You can be a true miracle worker for our patients!”
More than 60 Publix grocery stores in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties are a part of the campaign. Last year, Southwest Florida Publix stores raised $43,275 for Golisano Children’s Hospital. Nationally, Publix raised $3.7 million dollars in 2020 to support kids treated at their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals throughout North America.
The proceeds raised from the sale of the miracle coupons will help Golisano secure life-saving medical equipment and provide education and outreach programs, as well as family assistance. It helps families, just like Owen’s. Owen is one of 70 children diagnosed with cancer last year at Golisano.
Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is one of only nine centers in the state to offer complete pediatric cancer care and the program is largely funded through donations and community support.
Owen continues to receive his cancer treatment at Golisano, a place he and his mom have come to call a second home.
“I don’t know what I would have done without the team at Golisano,” said Burge. “The oncology staff quickly became my support system, my community and my family. I really do not know what I would have done, or what I would continue to do without them. They are truly special human beings. They are saving my life and my son’s.”
About Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida
Established in 1994, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida has been named a “Top Hospital” three consecutive years by The Leapfrog Group. It is the only recognized children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami. Lee Health opened the new 134-bed Golisano Children’s Hospital in May 2017, relocating the children’s hospital from the adjacent HealthPark Medical Center. It includes comprehensive pediatric services including a 24-hour pediatric emergency department, hematology-oncology unit, milk lab, Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center, and Level II and Level III NICU with 70 private rooms. Golisano Children’s Hospital is proud to have been named Soliant’s 2018 Most Beautiful Hospital in the U.S., a recognition determined by popular vote. For more information, visit www.GolisanoChildrensSWFL.org.
About Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $7 billion, most of it $1 at a time through the charity’s Miracle Balloon icon. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why children’s hospitals need community support, and learn about your member hospital, at CMNHospitals.org.