Meet Marlee, Indiana's New CMN Champion

May 4, 2016
Topics: Riley Kid Story

marlee blog image
Marlee Davenport, Bloomington, Ind.

Riley Children’s Foundation is proud to introduce you to 9-year-old Marlee Davenport, of Bloomington, Ind., who has just been named the 2016 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion ambassador for the state of Indiana. Throughout this year, Marlee and her family will serve as advocates for the charitable need at children’s hospitals across North America – including Riley Hospital for Children, 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. At 10 days old, she had her first of 19 surgeries, and she’ll need continued care throughout her life. 

Here are some thoughts that this extraordinary Champion shared with us:

Q: What excites you most about becoming a CMN Champion?
A: I am most excited about meeting all the other Champions and getting to know other children that have had similar experiences to mine. I hope to make some friends and have other states to go and visit. 

Q: How do staff members at Riley help you cope with your medical challenges?
A: During my hospital stays Child Life has helped me cope with activities to do, trips to the play room and toys to play with. The nurses have always been kind and helpful to me and my parents. The staff members have taken time to play games with me and sometimes just talk. 

Q: What are some of your favorite activities? How have your Riley doctors helped you be able to participate in those activities?
A: My favorite activities are: horseback riding, gymnastics and soccer. My doctors have helped me be able to breathe on my own (without the ventilator during the day), walk and run. They have helped me to grow big and strong so that I am able to participate in many activities. 

Q: If you were going to ask people in the community to support Riley by donating, what would you say to them?
A: Please donate to Riley to help save lives of children like myself. Every child needs the chance to get better. FTK! (For The Kids) 

Q: What would your message be to people who have decided to donate to Riley?
A: Thank you for donating to Riley. Your donation will help save lives and give kids a reason to smile. 

Q: What is your advice to kids facing their own medical challenges?
A: Live each day one, one at a time. You will have good days and some bad days, but overall life is challenging for everyone. Just keep smiling.

Riley Blogger

The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.

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