Turning Challenges Into Strengths
Some children turn their biggest challenges into their greatest strengths.
Eleven years ago, we created the Riley Champions program to honor Riley patients who have overcome medical obstacles and are giving back to others. Each year, Riley kids throughout Indiana are selected to share their stories and serve as ambassadors for Riley Children’s Foundation in their communities. Riley Champions demonstrate the “Chad Keown Spirit of Riley,” showing a desire to leave a legacy of helping others. (Chad passed away while serving as a 2018 Riley Champion.)
The 2019 Riley Champions presented by Kroger are outstanding advocates for Riley. We caught up with this group to see how their Champion year is going. Check out their answers below.
Also, we are currently accepting nominations for our 2020 Riley Champions! Click here for more information and nominate a child you know today.
Why is Riley important to you?
- KATE MALONE (West Lafayette, Ind.): Riley is important to me not only because they saved my life but because they also changed my life for the better. Riley gives you a new outlook on life. I’ve met tons of amazing people because of Riley and for that I am so thankful.
- AMIEL CAMPBELL (Indianapolis): Riley is important to me because they give you support. They give you love like a family. They care about your needs and wants. They make sure your journey can be the greatest it can be.
- ABBIE JACKS (Tipton, Ind.): Riley has become a part of me and always will be. Riley is a place that makes me feel safe no matter how I am feeling physically or even emotionally. I know that they will take care of me and there is a sense of security in that. I can't imagine my life without Riley now!
What has been your favorite part about being a 2019 Riley Champion so far?
- AYDEN WAGLER (Odon, Ind.): My favorite part about being a 2019 Riley Champion is the friends I've made.
- AIDEN HUNTER (Zionsville, Ind.): My favorite part of being a Champion is helping raise money for Riley Hospital.
- CONNOR SCHUELKE (South Bend): What has been my favorite part of being a Riley Champion so far has been meeting other kids who have a story to share like me.
Why is it important to you to give back and help others?
- ALLIE SHUTE (Bloomington, Ind.): It is important to give back to others because so many people have helped me and I would love to share the opportunity of giving back and do the same for other people.
- AMIEL CAMPBELL (Indianapolis): It’s important to give back and help others because it makes you feel good inside in the end. To be able to help others and just reach out is a blessing in itself. You could never know what difference you can do for others.
What are some of your hobbies?
- CONNOR SCHUELKE (South Bend): Some of my favorite hobbies include playing the piano, building LEGOs, playing video games and flying lessons.
- KATE MALONE (West Lafayette, Ind.): I have a few main hobbies. I really like to cook. I also like to do pottery. I personal don't consider my last one a hobby but a sport. I LOVE to dance - all types except for tap!
- ALLIE SHUTE (Bloomington, Ind.): I enjoy acting, singing, arts & crafts, baking, math and different school activities.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
- ABBIE JACKS (Tipton, Ind.): I want to be a pediatric nurse at Riley Hospital and give back what has been given to me! I have been accepted to Indiana University Kokomo for fall 2019 and plan to pursue my Nursing Degree.
- AYDEN WAGLER (Odon, Ind.): When I grow up I want to work with animals.
- AIDEN HUNTER (Zionsville, Ind.): I’m not sure what I want to be yet.
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