“Baystate Children’s Hospital saved our child’s life,” said Kate and Doug Poole in unison.
When Kate gave birth to their daughter, Olivia Jane Poole on March 11, 2016, they expected a healthy little bundle of joy. Instead, Olivia was born with multiple birth defects, the result of a disorder called “VACTERL association,” which affects many body systems.
Born at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield – the Pooles live in Hatfield – Olivia was immediately transferred to the area’s only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield. Over the course of a year, while in the NICU and after she was discharged, Olivia underwent some seven operations to correct the birth defects, which Kate said were “thankfully fixable.”
One of many stories
Olivia’s story is just one of many amazing stories of courage and hope to be heard during the often emotional annual 94.7 WMAS Radiothon to benefit Baystate Children’s Hospital, to be broadcast live from Baystate Medical Center for two days on March 6-7.
"Your generous pledges made during the Radiothon support the true heroes of the only comprehensive children's hospital in western Massachusetts - our talented and compassionate caregiving team and our many miracle children and their families," said Scott Berg, vice president of Philanthropy, Baystate Health, and executive director of the Baystate Health Foundation.
94.7 FM WMAS on-air personalities - led by the Kellogg Krew of Chris, Dina, and Lopez - will again continue this year with their regular radio formats throughout the day, interspersed with live and taped interviews featuring young patients and their families, as well as community donors, event sponsors and staff from Baystate Children’s Hospital. They will be asking listeners to pledge their support in making miracles happen for kids by calling in donations to phone banks at the hospital. Broadcast hours for the Radiothon will be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, and Wednesday, March 7. The phone number to call in during the event is 413-794-1111.
Stop in and pledge your support
Once again this year, the phone banks will be accessible to the public in the Tolosky Family Living Room, located off the Daly Building entrance lobby. Visitors are invited to stop by the phone banks while at the hospital and pledge their support.
Listeners will have an opportunity during the Radiothon to join the “Miracle Maker Club,” a recurring pledge of at least $20 per month on a credit card or by making a one-time donation. Thanks to Cartamundi, the official Miracle Maker sponsor, when listeners become a member of the club, a toy or game will be delivered in their name to a pediatric patient at Baystate Children’s Hospital.
Those wanting to become a “Change Hero” to raise funds for the Radiothon can create their own fundraising web page by visiting www.helpmakemiracles.org/event/WMAS. Change Heroes who turn in their funds by March 31 and raise $100 or more will have an opportunity to win a special prize.
Part of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals
Baystate Children’s Hospital is one of 170 fundraising Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals are unique in that 100 percent of all money raised locally goes directly to Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield in support of children’s health programs and services.
Presenting sponsor for this year’s Radiothon is Health New England, Miracle Maker sponsor is Cartamundi, and Change Hero program sponsor is Pioneer Valley Credit Union. Other sponsors include Compass One as the Red Carpet sponsors and Freedom Credit Union as the Giggle Break sponsor and Costco and Subway as Hospitality sponsors.
As for how Olivia, just short of two years old, is managing today, her mom said she is “healthy and thriving.”
“Olivia is a very happy child, always smiling, full of energy and she loves to sing and dance,” said Kate.
For more info
For more information on the Radiothon, visit www.helpmakemiracles.org/event/WMAS or call 413-794-1486.