As I write this I am sitting in a waiting room at Riley Hospital. I have spent more hours and days sitting in waiting rooms here than I can begin to count, waiting for my brother. Braden is 8 years old and was born with Spina Bifida, hydrocephalus, and many other things that are associated with each of those conditions. He has been through 16 surgeries, hospital stays as long as 37 days at a time, and too many tests and procedures to count. One thing I’ve noticed as he’s endured so much is how he always comes through on the other side with a smile on his face ready to play. There’s not a place we can go in the hospital today that we don’t run into one of his friends he’s made throughout his numerous visits here. Riley has truly become our second home and an extended family.
Throughout this journey, I’ve learned many things from my little brother, something I’d never thought possible! He’s truly an inspiration to me on a daily basis. Who else would come out of anesthesia after a brain surgery and be ready to sit up and play beach ball right away? Because of his love for playing beach ball in the hospital, he wanted to share with others so he managed to collect over 700 beach balls for the kids at Riley; that’s a huge feat for an eight year old. His love of Riley and spirt of always wanting to help other kids like him has inspired me to decide to go to school to become a Child Life Specialist as well as volunteer for the Summer of Service program through Riley.
Braden is currently in the Battle of the Brave contest through Speedway that will help him give back even more to kids like him and he needs your help with it. All you need to do is click here to follow the link and vote for Braden once a day through the end of May to help the hospital win $25,000. (Please make sure to click “Vote for this Entry.”)
While I sit and wait for Braden to be done with another appointment, he’s waiting for you to vote and help him help his Riley family.