Wednesday, December 1, 2010

An Incredible Year

When we got the call a year ago letting us know Olivia and Meredith were the South Dakota CMN Champions for 2010 we had no idea how much that would really mean.

This has truly been such an amazing year for all of us and we can't thank all of you enough for your support of our family and especially of CMN.

Orlando was awesome! It was SO much fun to get to see all the staff and families we had met in Washington in June. It's unreal how fast you can form bonds with people you've known such a short while.

The girls had the time of their lives at Walt Disney World and honestly I don't think things could have gone any better. Perfect weather, just the right size crowds, being there during the holiday season - all of it was just perfect.

Greg said the proudest moment of his life was when our girls ran out to receive their medals during the medal ceremony. They were so happy to walk out there and receive their special medal. And, since we've been home, they have had many jealous cousins asking "how did you get that medal?" :-)

It was also wonderful and very special to have a chance to thank so many sponsors in person at the sponsor pin exchange. The girls LOVED "signing" their autograph - Olivia especially was a natural. She even posed for photos for anyone who wanted to take one. It was nice to let our children be the face of the 17 million children the sponsor's work and money helps.

I wish there was a way for every family who's been helped by CMN or who has had a sick or injured child to experience everything we have in the past year. Definitely a life changing experience.

Thank you all for sharing this extraordinary year with us!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

6 days 'til Orlando!

The CMN Celebration is truly just around the corner now and we couldn't be more excited!

We started packing this evening - I had the girls try on all their summer clothes to make sure they still fit. And we have our Champions shirts ready to go!

The other day Meredith said to me: "I wish we could be the champions again and walk up the stairs." She was referring to the closing ceremony in Washington when they called each Champion's name and they came on stage and received an award.

I told her she did get to do that again and very soon! She is so excited!

Washington was such an incredible experience. And it obviously left quite an impression even on my little tiny ladies.

At least 4 times today each girl would scream and yell "I can't wait for Florida!!!!"

Our whole family feels so incredibly blessed to get to have these experiences. To meet these families and the CMN, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club employees who really are making miracles happen!

Thanks so much to everyone who supports this very important organization.

Sunshine here we come!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


We just got back from Washington, D.C. Literally like an hour ago. I can't even begin to tell you what an unbelievable trip this was! What an unbelievable week, actually, starting last Friday evening in Sioux Falls.

There are about a ga-zillion things I want to write about, but need to unpack and get two little princesses to bed right now. The whole story is coming soon though! :-)

For now, we just want to thank SO INCREDIBLY MUCH the entire CMN staff at Sanford, the national staff and the CMN Champions staff, along with Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and everyone involved in putting all of this together. I can't even begin to consider the amount of work that went into this amazing week.

We feel ridiculously blessed to have been able to experience all the once-in-a-lifetime events of the past week.

Again, thank you to everyone, and I'll post more soon.

Good night!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

4 Days to Go!

Oh my gosh does time fly! Suddenly we have 4 days before we leave for Washington! I guess I better pull out the suitcases!

Did you have a chance to watch the Healthbeat special on KELO last night? They did a special about CMN's 25 years of helping kids in South Dakota. Olivia and Meredith were featured on the program. If you missed it, you can watch the whole program at this link:

Although our flight to Washington D.C. doesn't leave until Sunday morning, we'll be heading to Sioux Falls Friday night. On Saturday morning we get to go to Wal-Mart and go on a $500 shopping spree to get last minute items for our trip! Then (weather permitting) we'll go to Wild Water West.

Thanks so much to the entire CMN staff: Amy, Julie, Kim, Janon to name a few - everyone has been so incredible to us and we're so very lucky to be able to do all of this!

Sunday morning a limo is taking us to Sanford Children's so we can participate in the telethon for about an hour before heading to the airport. The girls are so very excited about that limo ride!

I can't wait to share photos and details of our trip when we get back!

Talk to you soon!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Radiothon and Washington update

I meant to write a few weeks ago, but of course things are busy.....the 10th annual CMN radiothon was held in Watertown April 7-9. This is a special event for me because I was working at the radio station (KSDR) when the very first radiothon was held 10 years ago.

I wasn't a mom yet at that time, so had no idea how important CMN really was yet. I heard the stories and saw the kids and their families come up to share. Never in a million years did I think I'd be one of those families just a few short years later.

Being a part of the radiothon now is so much different, but I'm thankful to have been on the other side of things too. When you haven't been directly involved with CMN, it's difficult to understand the magnitude CMN dollars can have on a sick child's life.

Now I am fully aware just how important it is to share our story and work hard to help others to realize the significant impact their donations and support have.

The radiothon raised over $66,000 - the biggest one yet! Thank you to everyone at the radio stations, and especially all the listeners who called in!!!!

Now to the Washington update.....we are now just a little over 1 month away from our trip and we're getting so excited!

Olivia and Meredith got a package in the mail yesterday that had a red CMN T-shirt for each of them. They are to wear these the day we arrive in Washington so the CMN staff can find us easily.

We also received 2 books with the shirts. The books have each Champion child and their story. I read 2 of the stories to the girls yesterday and we're going to keep reading 2 each day so we can get to know the other families a little before we get there.

There are some amazing little kids we're going to get to meet! We are SO looking forward to this trip!

More later.....


Monday, March 29, 2010

USD Dance Marathon

We just had an incredible weekend in Vermillion, SD at the University of South Dakota's Dance Marathon.

Over 150 students participated to raise over $37,000 for CMN!!

Olivia and Meredith had a great time meeting other kids, dancing with the students and getting lots of attention. We heard some amazing storied from other parents.

It's absolutely unreal what families can get through and how many lives CMN touches.

Thank you to the Exec team, Morale team and dancers at the USD Dance Marathon! We are so very impressed!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Washington, D.C.

We are so very excited to be a part of the Children's Miracle Network Champions program! This incredible organization has played a huge part in our life and we are so happy to have a chance to tell people about it!

Recently we received a preliminary itinerary for the Champions program in Washington, D.C. We'll be leaving on June 6th from Sioux Falls and will have a chance to meet other Champion families from around the country. I'm really looking forward to hearing other's stories and sharing our own.

It looks like there are several media events planned for the trip, which will be a wonderful opportunity to inform others of the importance of Children's Miracle Network.

Children's Miracle Network has touched our lives in many ways, but most importantly, they helped to save our tiny baby Olivia's life just after she was born. The equipment they provided to Sanford Children's hospital was vital to her recovery from a very tough start in life.

Olivia's strength combined with the hand of God and assistance of CMN pulled our whole family through a very trying time. We are forever grateful to CMN and the staff that took care of our little lady at Sanford Children's.

We'll keep you posted on what we hear about our trip and other events we'll be attending to help promoted CMN.

Off to the USD Dance Marathon this weekend!

Greg, Anne, Olivia and Meredith Hanson