Meet Owen: Indiana's New CMN Champion
As a part of #ChildrensHospitalsWeek celebrations, we introduce you to 14-year-old Owen Boatright from Stilesville, Ind. Owen has been named the 2018 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Indiana Champion.
Owen was 9 years old when he developed a dangerous complication from E. Coli called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). He was in total renal failure, and over the course of 16 days he went through blood transfusions, dialysis and had one of his lungs drained. His caregivers at Riley Hospital helped him make a full recovery, and since then Owen and his family have become proud fundraisers and advocates for Riley Hospital.
We checked in with Owen (who likes to wear a bow tie in honor of his favorite Riley doctor, Pediatric Nephrologist Jeffrey Leiser, M.D.) about his newest role supporting Indiana’s premier children’s hospital.
Q: What was your reaction when you learned that you have been chosen as the Indiana Champion for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals?
A: I was surprised. I'm just Owen, being Owen. I don't find myself special, just really grateful to be alive and happy to tell anyone who will listen about how great Riley Hospital is.
Q: Tell us about yourself – what do you like to do? How has Riley made it possible for you to pursue your interests and dreams?
A: I am a music/theatre kid. I am in a production right now called "James and The Giant Peach." I play piano, have a voice coach, take dance classes and theatre workshops. Just the fact that I am alive means I get to continue to do the things I love, but I am willing to take more risks. Playing piano in front of thousands of people can make me a little nervous, but why not! Speaking in front of large crowds―it's a little scary, but why not!
Q: Can you tell us about some of the ways you and your family have supported Riley over the last few years?
A: I helped start a Kids Caring and Sharing program at my school, this year will be our third year. I have attended quite a few Dance Marathons, where I get to talk about how great Riley is and play piano. I have personally raised money for Riley by doing 5K runs. I try not to turn down any opportunities when I get to share my story.
Q: Why is it important to you to give back to Riley Hospital?
A: When a great group of doctors and nurses help save your life, all you really want to do is give back. I want to help other kids get a chance at life, and raising money and awareness for Riley does that.
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