CMN & Wal-Mart – Miracles Happen

Partnerships are almost always positive. When Children’s Miracle Network teams with Wal-Mart it’s certainly a good thing. When CMN and Wal-Mart join with the Miss America Organization, it’s a great thing!

At the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Winchester, Virginia last week there was a special celebration. Twenty years of this amazing partnership brought together Wal-Mart management and employees, Children’s National Medical Center staff and children’s Champion Ambassador Joey Lora, with me, Miss District of Columbia.
Shoppers joined in by enjoying cake and punch, getting to know Joey, and buying those familiar $1 balloons that mean so much to Children’s Miracle Network funding.

Joey Lora is truly a miracle! Having over ten brain surgeries in his 8 years, most of them during his first two years of life, in which half of his brain was removed and portions stopped functioning after a stroke, he currently survives and thrives on only 40% of his brain. While he still still suffers debilitating and very frightening seizures, he makes huge strides almost daily. He was so proud to show me how therapy helped to progress muscle movement in his arm and he even wanted to learn karate!

What makes Joey even more of a miracle is his amazing enthusiasm for life. Nicknamed Mr. Personality, Joey makes friends everywhere he goes and leaves everyone he meets with a smile. He loves to learn, he loves to try new things, and just like every little boy, he dreams big dreams of what he will be when he grows up (and of course it changes constantly!).
Joey’s mother, Sandy, summed up her sadness, her strength, and her hopes in looking back over their long and continuing struggle. She reflected on his health complications and the number of times which he was almost taken from the world, and said she figured that he is just not supposed to be here. Yet he is… and she hopes that it is because he is supposed to serve as an example of the great work Children’s Miracle Network is doing for so many children around the country – to help people put a face to a miracle.