ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - For more than 30 years, Friends of Gillette has been a group raising money for Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare and on Saturday they tried something brand new.
Kids of all ages and abilities were able to give back to the hospital that has helped them so much during the first ever Walk and Roll.
For eight-year-old Maddy Lavalier, the people at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare are like a second family. She's been a patient at the hospital since before she was born.
“We knew prior to her birth at 20 weeks, she would have special needs,” said Rachelle Lavalier, Maddy’s mom. “Spina bifida, organs outside the body and club feet, but we didn't know to what degree her complications would be and what her future would look like.”
Saturday, the spunky third grader was thankful to give back to the hospital that has helped her family so much.
She was chosen to the patient ambassador for the first of its kind 3K Walk and Roll.
“I was just really excited,” said Maddy. “When they asked me to be patient ambassador I said yes and actually did scream.”
Leading the way, more than 300 people raised $32,000 during this fundraiser. An amount that families know will help in priceless ways for other patients in the future.
“Sometimes it's financial assistance for families, sometimes it's assistance around buying a wheelchair, sometimes buy an assistive communications device,” said Dennis Jolley with Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.
The fully accessible Walk and Roll allowed patients of all ages and abilities to contribute and say thanks to those offering endless love and support through their journey.
“It's pretty fun,” said Maddy. “I just feel like they take care of me and know how to do it right.”