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Miracles on 22nd Street

It’s rare to see Avery Hill without a smile on her face. At just 4 years old, she’s outgoing, talks a mile a minute and loves high-fives almost as much as hugs. She also fights for every step she takes and constantly works to beat the odds of cerebral palsy.

Avery was born nearly four months early, at just 29 weeks. After 64 days in the Sanford Children’s Boekelheide Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, her parents, Mindy and Jared, brought their baby girl home for the first time. They didn’t know what the future would hold for Avery.

A year later, Avery was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, resulting from premature birth and two brain bleeds discovered on her fifth day in the NICU. Mindy and Jared learned Avery might struggle to walk, talk and even be intellectually impaired … but also that each child diagnosed with cerebral palsy is different.

It wasn’t long before Avery showed her parents that nothing would hold her back. Whether she’s playing with friends at junior kindergarten or at one of her many physical therapy sessions, Avery is always working to overcome the odds.

“She has the can-do attitude and puts in the hard work,” Mindy said. “We just sit along the sidelines and cheer her on.” Every step is a hard-won victory for Avery. With therapy sessions nearly every day, Avery works to give each activity her all especially when she gets to go riding with her beloved horse, Peggy Sue.

From Avery’s first breaths in the NICU to her ongoing treatment, Sanford Children’s Miracle Network and its many generous donors have been there, helping Avery reach each milestone. Here are just a few of the ways donors have made a difference for Avery:

  • Helping purchase lifesaving equipment that gave Avery a chance to grow and thrive after she was born too early.
  • Providing direct family assistance and meal vouchers for Mindy and Jared during Avery’s 64 days in the NICU.
  • Supporting the Child Life Specialists who were there to bring a smile to Avery’s face after each procedure at the Castle.

“I just can’t imagine not having these services close to home,” Mindy said. “The care that these kids get here is just so pivotal to how well they do. It’s pretty incredible.”

Four years ago this December, Avery left the NICU. Join us in celebrating every step she’s taken since during the Midwest Communications Radiothon for Kids.

Please consider making a gift today to help kick off the fundraising efforts for the radiothon. Every gift will stay local to create more miracle for kids like Avery who count on Sanford Children’s Castle of Care, the region’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.