Extra Life Gives Peoria Gamers a Way to Fundraise

Written on October 4, 2016 at 12:16 pm, by


For the 24-hour fundraiser, gamers register for free at www.Extra-Life.org and select their local CMN Hospital, establish a fundraising goal and seek donations from friends and family.

“Extra Life continues to grow because it answers a very simple question: How can I use my love of gaming to make life better for kids in my community?” said Jeromy Adams, founder of Extra Life. “The call to give back is connecting children’s hospital advocates across North America — from families to college students and everyone in between. Play games to heal kids treated at Children’s Hospital.

In 2015 – over $34,000 was raised by our Extra-Life gamers for Children’s Hospital of Illinois.  Please join in the fun this year by registering at www.Extra-Life.org.

WHEN:  November 5, 2016 @ 8am (Or pick a date that works for you!)

WHERE:  Anywhere you like to game (Most people play from home!)

GAME/PLATFORM:  Play any games on any platforms you want including mobile devices or board games!

HOW IT WORKS:  Simply ask your friends and family to sponsor your efforts. They can make a monthly pledge or a one-time gift. Then, have a seat and play games on November 5.

WHO IT BENEFITS:  Gamers select the children’s hospital they want to play for during registration. In the US and Canada there are more than 170 CMN Hospitals to choose from. Players outside of North America can choose hospitals and causes that work specifically in their area of the world.

As always you can register for Extra Life absolutely free, however we’d like you to consider the $15 Platinum option, which makes you eligible to receive lot’s of goodies and prizes throughout the campaign, including the official 2016 Extra Life T-shirt when you hit $200 in funds raised.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals supports healthy and safe gaming for kids.  If you have questions or concerns about your child’s gaming, please visit www.cmch.tv/ for resources on healthy gaming habits for kids.

12 Days of Giving

Written on August 31, 2016 at 2:39 pm, by

If the walls of Children’s Hospital of Illinois could talk, what would they say?  They would tell stories of 4 year – old heroes and cancerous villains.  They would start a slow clap for every staff member that, day after day, gives everything they have to make a difference.  And above all else they would spread the message that when we all come together the impossible is possible.

During 12 Days of Giving (Nov. 28-Dec.9) we’ll share stories of Children’s Hospital of Illinois in a Facebook story telling series.  You’ll see and feel the everyday struggles, emotions and triumphs these patients, families and caregivers face.  At times it will be hard to read because childhood illness and disease is one of life’s greatest injustices. But keep reading because it is important that their voices are heard. And then share, discuss or re-post to help us change the future for them. If these walls could talk they would tell you…

Laura Season, RN resized

“A little girl with severe disabilities was having a rough day and didn’t have parents here.  She is blind, but loves to sing. On that day I thought  that if I sang with her during bath time she would calm down. So as I bathed her I sang ‘He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands’. Slowly, she started to relax, and sang along.

When you see challenging things for 10 years straight, and some of it’s truly awful and ugly, it would be easy to grow cynical. Having a relationship with the Lord has taught me patience and continues to grow my compassion. ”

-Laura, RN


Gabbys Mom Resized

“When we had Gabby we knew she was different but to us she was normal.  From our perspectives,  we thought she would be able to do all the things other babies and kids do, but just differently. As a parent you have a million hopes and dreams when you have a child. One day we were in the ER, she was just nine months old, and the nurse asked me what disabilities she had.  

It was the first time I had to accept that she was different. It was the first time someone used the word ‘disabled’ and it was the first day that I started to mourn the losses that I knew were coming. I had to let go of prom and graduation and marriage and it was heartbreaking. As the years have gone on and we’ve dealt with one medical complication after another I’ve had more periods of mourning where I had to let go of hopes and dreams.”

-Amy, mother


lucy resized

“I want to do everything I can to make these kids happy because I love them. It’s important for me to sit with the patients and talk to them about what they like to eat and what they don’t. When they are here for an extended stay they often get tired of the same things. This one little girl recently wanted nachos. Now we don’t make nachos for patient meals. But I made sure we got some from the cafeteria and had them delivered to her room. That is how I make a difference for them. I’ve been here for 26 years and I’ll do whatever I can to make their meal the best that it can be.”

-Lucy, Food Services

As we learn these stories we are trying to raise funds to help the team at Children’s Hospital of Illinois as they work tirelessly to help patients and their families. Throughout the 12 Days of Giving we will give you a snap shot into the real life situations they deal with. Join us in supporting these brave individuals who are faced with challenges most of us could not fathom.  Please consider giving – even if it’s a small amount: https://choi.osfhealthcarefoundation.org/page.aspx?pid=1402


10th Annual NICU Small Wonders Walk: Champion Family Celebrates and Remembers Children

Written on August 3, 2016 at 8:51 am, by

Join us this year as we celebrate, remember and walk for the children and families of our Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) at this year’s 10th Annual NICU Small Wonders Miracle Walk.  The event, which will take place on Saturday,  September 24th, hosts a wide variety of family fun activities including a concert by Julie K, delicious food, silent auction and much more!

From left: Hayden, Robin, Brian and Ava Snyder

Champion family, Robin and Brian Snyder share their story as they celebrate and remember their children at this year’s miracle walk.

Faced with reproductive challenges in 2003, Robin and Brian required medical assistance to conceive. Prayers were answered and that same year the couple found themselves expecting not one but five children.

Living in Indiana and pregnant with quintuplets the couple made the decision to pack up their lives and move back to Robin’s hometown of  Morton, Illinois.

“I knew the second we found out we were pregnant that we needed support from my family. We had no idea what was in store for us and what would happen in only a few short weeks,” Robin said.

Surrounded by loved ones and settled into their new home they began selecting a team of caregivers.  Dr. Leonardi of the Maternal & Fetal clinic at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL worked closely with them; explaining outcomes, answering questions and overseeing all of Robin’s medical care. Then at 18 weeks, Robin was put on bed rest when one of the babies water broke.

Two weeks later, at 20 weeks, Robin delivered her first son Gabriel who lived for only a few precious hours.  At 21 weeks she delivered Elliot, who like his brother Gabriel, was too young to survive.

Robin delivered her three other children by emergency c-section and at 24 weeks and 4 days, they welcomed Miles, Ada and Hayden into the world.  All three were immediately admitted to the NICU where they received what Robin explains as the best medical care imaginable.

“When I was in the hospital I will never forget the doctor that came and talked to me for hours one day, not about the kids necessarily but about life. That has always stayed with me.”

Miles, plagued with brain bleeds and seizures, was only able to hold on for a month before passing on.  His siblings Hayden and Ava suffered from medical complications as well, but were sent home one at a time months later.

Today, 12 year-old Hayden and Ava are happy and full of life.  Hayden, who struggled more than his sister while in the NICU, has mild cerebral palsy, ADHD and developmental delays as well as seizures.  Still, Robin says they are thankful every day and  are filled with pride as they watch him grow and reach new milestones in his own, special ways.

Hayden and Ava

Ava and Hayden Snyder

hayden and Ava at NICU pg

Hayden and Ava at NICU Small Wonders Walk

“You hear a story like ours and you think that’s heartbreaking, but until you actually lived through it there’s no way to comprehend what these women go through.”

Originally an elementary school teacher, Robin was forever changed by the time she spent in the antepartum, labor and delivery and NICU units at the hospital.

“I remember being on bed-rest and receiving all this wonderful care and I had this ‘ah-hah’ moment where I thought, I want to change lives like this.”

Currently Robin is a NICU Supervisor at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center where she is inspired daily to serve with the greatest care and love. She has given back in many ways; serving on the family advisory board, advocating within the community and bringing the idea for the NICU Small Wonders Walk to the area over ten years ago.

Champions in every sense of the word, Robin and her husband remain an inspiration and testament to the power of love.

At OSF Healthcare Foundation we are thankful for passionate individuals willing to advocate for others, who in their time of need require support and guidance. We are blessed to have Champion families, like the Snyders who continue to spread awareness about all of the services at Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

If you are interested in being a part of the NICU Small Wonders Walk and making a difference click here to register online and learn more!