WASHINGTON (4/1/16)--If credit unions were unsure of the impact of the annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, they heard firsthand about it during a press conference Thursday. Jessica Gregory, a longtime patient of Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals, the beneficiaries of the race, spoke at the press conference.
Gregory was born with spina bifida, a birth defect where the spine does not develop properly. Doctors said that she would likely never walk, never be able to use a restroom on her own, and would likely have to attend special school. She has been treated at Children’s Hospital since she was born, having had more surgeries than she can count (her best estimate is 10).
“I’ve been blessed with amazing doctors and nurses. I’m walking, I use the bathroom on my own, I go to Largo High School and I’m an honor roll student,” she said. “Children’s Hospital is amazing, and I can tell you that from experience.”
“Credit unions are known for being there for their members, and by working together, credit unions are also there for children who need it the most,” said Credit Union National Association Chief Operating Officer Rich Meade. “We’re grateful to have this opportunity, and we’re grateful for everyone who supports this event.”
Credit Union Miracle Day, a collaboration of more than 100 credit unions, business partners and credit union service organizations, will present a check for $505,000 to CMN Hospitals Sunday at the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in Washington. The 2016 event will mark the 15th year of title sponsorship by Credit Union Miracle Day.
Gregory told stories about the kindness of hospital staff during her stays.
“What you guys are doing here, I just want to thank you, because it’s amazing, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart,” she said. “You guys are raising money for children, so they can have a normal life. Being in the hospital, you see babies with tubes coming out of them, but they’re laughing and having fun. They think their life is normal.
“They get that life because of what you do.”