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9-year-old Bloomington girl selected as Indiana Ambassador

On Monday, April 25, Riley Children’s Foundation will officially honor Marlee Davenport, of Bloomington, Ind., as the 2016 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion ambassador for the state of Indiana. Throughout this year, Marlee and her family will serve as local, state and national spokespeople, advocating for the charitable need at children’s hospitals across North America – including Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, Indiana’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals partner.

Marlee was named the 2016 Champion ambassador because of her positive attitude despite the medical challenges she has faced. Marlee was born missing nine of 12 ribs on her right side, causing severe scoliosis and her right lung to be abnormally small, leaving her unable to breathe on her own. At 10 days old, she had her first of 19 surgeries, to receive a tracheotomy. In total, Marlee spent six months at the hospital before being discharged. Marlee has surgery every four to six months to adjust her Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Ribs (VEPTR). The VEPTR help stabilize Marlee’s spine and separate her ribs, allowing her lungs to expand as she grows. In the words of her idol, Taylor Swift, she “shakes off” any physical restrictions and enjoys climbing on monkey bars, attending gymnastics classes and jumping on the trampoline. Marlee will continue to have surgeries and follow-up appointments for the rest of her life.

The CMN Hospitals Champions program brings 50 children together from across the country that all have tackled severe medical challenges. Marlee will help represent the 17 million children that are treated at 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals each year. Through the Champions program, she will continue supporting fundraising campaigns for Riley Hospital. In June, Marlee and her family will visit Washington, D.C. to share their story and to inspire others to support children’s hospitals. Delta Air Lines, Marriott and Chico’s FAS, Inc. are the official sponsors of the 2016 Champions program.

WHAT: Riley Hospital patient Marlee Davenport to receive honor as 2016 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion for Indiana
                       
WHO: 2016 CMN Hospital’s Champion Marlee Davenport

WHEN: Monday, April 25, 2016
2:00 p.m.

WHERE: JW Marriott
Osteria Pronto Italian Restaurant – Private Dining Room
10 S. West Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204

About Riley Children’s Foundation
Riley Children’s Foundation supports Riley Hospital for Children, Camp Riley and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home. As Indiana’s only nationally ranked and comprehensive children’s hospital, Riley Hospital has provided compassionate care, support and comfort to children and their families since 1924. Each year children from all 92 Indiana counties turn to Riley Hospital and its regional clinics more than 300,000 times as well as an additional 100,000 times in clinics and hospitals staffed by Riley physicians throughout the state. RileyKids.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 $5 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 and facebook.com/CMNHospitals.

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