Local Champion Visits White House, Capitol Hill

WVUH Patient Selected for Children’s Miracle Network Program

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – International ambassadors frequently visit The White House, but on March 17 a young ambassador from West Virginia visited as a representative of 17 million hospitalized children. Richard Tinney, of Buckhannon joined 49 other young ambassadors and Grammy winner LeAnn Rimes during his visit to Washington, D.C. Richard was selected as an ambassador because of his unique experiences with West Virginia University Children’s Hospital in Morgantown.

Richard, 14, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects the lungs and digestive system, when he was 5 years old. He takes daily breathing treatments and many vitamins and enzymes to help him feel better.

As one of 50 children—one from every state—participating in a Children's Miracle Network program called Foresters Champions Across America, Richard visited The White House and met with U.S. senators on Capitol Hill.

“These kids truly are champions,” said Rimes, who accompanied the children to Washington. “Each one deserves to be honored for their courage, determination and enthusiasm for life.”

WVU Children’s Hospital is one of 170 Children’s Miracle Network children’s hospitals. More than 6,000 children are admitted and 1,500 babies are born each year at WVU Children’s Hospital.  Patients come from every county in the state and from surrounding states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland.  In addition, the

Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) annually helps an average of 600 premature babies get the special help they need to begin their lives.

The Champions Across America program is sponsored by Foresters, a proud supporter of Children's Miracle Network.

Children's Miracle Network—the alliance of premier hospitals for children—is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals across North America. Each year the 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. For more information visit www.cmn.org.

- WVU -

For more information:
Bill Case, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087

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