A Welcome Weekend Fit for a Champion




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2015 Riley Champions

I had the pleasure of meeting the 2015 Riley Champions this past weekend at their Welcome Weekend. The stories of these amazing young people and what they have been through are nothing short of remarkable! These kids have been through some very difficult times and continue with a positive outlook.

I thought that my son, Rex, was a rare one to go about his daily life with a smile on his face in spite of his type 1 diabetes. But I watched each and every one of these kids smile all weekend long in spite of their medical challenges. I guess that’s what Champions are made of!

During the first day, the Riley Champions got to meet each other. The immediate connection they had to one another was incredible! That day was filled with meet-and-greets, food, training for the champions, meeting Sneha Dave (a 2014 Riley Champion who told us her inspiring story), movie night, lots of laughter and more food!

The second day was an even bigger day than the first!! All the Champions and their families got to attend the Indianapolis Colts game!

The Riley Champions were able to be on the sidelines during the Colts’ warm up. They also got introduced to the crowd with their pictures on the jumbo-tron. Then they got to help with the coin toss!! We all stayed for the game and cheered the Colts on to a victory.

What a fantastic weekend it was for these Champions and their families!  As the Mother of a Riley kid, I want to thank Kroger for their partnership with Riley Children’s Foundation. This partnership allows these Riley Champions to give back to the doctors, nurses and staff of Riley Hospital that saved their lives.

I am so excited to see where this journey will take these 2015 Riley Champions!

Stay tuned - it’s going to be AWESOME!


Gina Stillions, Riley Parent

Gina is the mother of three children, Jordan (28), Max (20), and Rex (18) who is a Riley type 1 diabetes patient. She also has two grandsons, Jake and Ryne. Gina works at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. In her spare time she enjoys reading, watching Rex wrestle and hanging out with her kids.


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