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BIRMINGHAM (May 24, 2013) —Naomi Pitts, an eighth grader from Birmingham, has been named this year's Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® Alabama Champion. Naomi will serve as a fundraising and awareness ambassador for Children’s of Alabama and all children treated at the North American charity's 170 member hospitals. Delta Air Lines is the official sponsor of the 2013 Champions program, with Chico’s FAS, Inc. as a presenting sponsor.
Naomi was chosen for facing her unique medical challenges with courage and will serve to illustrate the impact of Children’s and why donated funds are needed for treatment, recovery and charitable care. This fall, Naomi and Champions selected from each state will gather for an official ambassador trip to Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Fla.
Volleyball player Naomi knew something was wrong. The exhaustion the 12-year-old started feeling after games wasn’t right. After several inconclusive visits to the doctor she was taken to the emergency room and, within an hour, was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
“Children’s is an amazing place- they go out of their way to ensure that patients have an outlet and effectively deal with their diagnosis,” said Christine Pitts, Naomi’s mom. “Naomi is a true fighter, but even a fighter needs a little help sometimes.”
More than a year and several months later, after enduring painful treatments and side effects, Naomi finished treatment. She hasn’t been able to play volleyball but that hasn’t stopped her from joining the debate team, playing the piano, volunteering and continuing her love for art.
“We are thrilled to introduce Naomi to the community,” said Emily Hornak, Community Development Director for Children’s of Alabama. “We can’t think of anyone more deserving and her bravery continues to be an inspiration for others across the state. The Champion’s program certainly helps to underscore the important charitable needs of Children’s Hospitals throughout the country.”
About Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champions:
Every year, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® Champions program identifies a child with a remarkable medical story from each state. These Champions serve as ambassadors for the millions of children treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals annually. The Champions and their families will travel to Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Fla. for one week in October to meet with media and delegates to highlight the vital work taking place at children’s hospitals.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America. Delta Air Lines has been a proud supporter of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since 1998, and this year is supporting the 2013
Champions program as the official sponsor. Chico’s FAS, Inc. is the presenting sponsor of the 2013 Champions. Learn more at CMNHospitals.org/Champions.
About Children’s of Alabama:
Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children across the state and throughout the southeastern U.S. since 1911. For the past three years, Children’s has been ranked among the best children’s hospital programs in the nation by US News & World Report. Last year, patients made more than 634,000 outpatient and nearly 14,000 inpatient visits to Children’s from every county in Alabama and from 47 other states. With more than 2 million square feet, it is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. Children’s offers inpatient and outpatient services across its Russell Campus on Birmingham’s historic Southside with additional outpatient services provided at Children’s South and Children’s on 3rd. Primary care is provided at more than a dozen medical offices in communities across central Alabama. Children’s of Alabama is the only medical center in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children. It is a private, not-for-profit medical center that serves as the primary site of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, research and residency programs. Children’s recently moved much of its inpatient services into a new building named The Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children. More information is available at www.childrensal.org