Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation introduces new Child Ambassador

Even small voices can be incredibly powerful

CALGARY, Sept. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - This afternoon, the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation announced its 2013 Champion Child, part of Children's Miracle Network Champions presented by Walmart. 11-year-old Cody Trembecki is an amazing young man who has relied on care from the Alberta Children's Hospital since he was a baby. For the next year, Cody will be an ambassador for the 82,000 kids and families helped by the hospital each year.

Born almost four months early, Cody's windpipe and lungs were underdeveloped and he required a tracheostomy - a portable trach or breathing tube for most of his life. Because Cody's trach was a direct opening to his lungs, Cody had to be careful around dirt, dust, water or anything else that could get into his lungs and jeopardize his breathing.

Four years ago, Cody's team of experts at the Alberta Children's Hospital decided he was strong enough to undergo an innovative surgery. Taking cartilage from his ribs, Cody's surgery team reconstructed him a new windpipe. This delicate procedure was a success and today after 2,365 days of living with a tracheostomy, Cody can breathe on his own through his custom windpipe!

"Thanks to support from our community, we have the right foundation, tool and experts in place to lead the way in ENT surgeries and to give kids like Cody the best chance of a happy and healthy life," says Dr. Derek Drummond, Cody's surgeon and Section Chief of Pediatric Otolaryngology at the Alberta Children's Hospital.

Walmart Canada is proud to sponsor the Children's Miracle Network Champions program, which brings together 12 very special children who represent 12 children's hospital foundations across the country. In October, Cody and his family will join the other 11 Champions and their families for a special celebration in Toronto, Ontario. The Champions and their families will also fly to Orlando, Florida where they will join other Champions from across North America at Disney World.

"We are delighted that Cody is our official ambassador this year," says Saifa Koonar, President and CEO of the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation. "His story is the perfect example of how caregivers at the Alberta Children's Hospital rely on community support to improve the quality of our kids' lives every day."

14 years ago, community donations helped to build the Alberta Children's Hospital's first Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Clinic. The ENT clinic is among the busiest in the hospital - helping thousands of kids like Cody each year. The ENT team is nationally recognized in Pediatric Airway Surgery and has three of the top ENT surgeons in Canada.

About the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation
The Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation raises funds for excellence in child health research and family centred care. Through the generosity of donors, the Foundation provides funding for innovative family centred programs, state of the art equipment, advanced medical training and internationally recognized pediatric research.

About Walmart Canada
Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Walmart Canada operates a growing network of 380 stores and one of the strongest community giving programs in Canada. Walmart Canada gives back to local communities in ways that matter most to its customers and associates. In 2012, the company raised and donated more than $22.8 million or $435,000 weekly, to charities and organizations in need, $80 million of that going to the Children's Miracle Network and close to $5 million dollars to the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation. Visit www.walmartcsr.ca for more company information or follow Walmart Canada on Twitter at www.twitter.com/walmartcanada and on Facebook at Facebook.com/walmartcanada.

About Children's Miracle Network

Children's Miracle Network is a non-profit organization helping kids by raising funds for 170 children's hospitals across North America. In Canada, Children's Miracle Network raises funds for 14 children's hospitals, and has raised more than $250 million since its inception.

SOURCE Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation




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