Hailey Baskeyfield put smiles on the faces of everyone she met
On June 7, 2015, Oklahoma Champion Child Hailey Baskeyfield began her Ambassador Tour. She boarded a Delta Air Lines flight to Atlanta, Ga., and kicked off the first leg of her Champions Ambassador Tour for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Hailey, a patient at The Children’s Hospital, joined 52 other “Champion” children who have personally benefited from donations to the charity and who exemplify how vital community support is for local children’s hospitals.
Hailey was selected to represent the state of Oklahoma for bravely facing her unique medical challenges. She clearly illustrates the effect of local donations to Children’s Hospital Foundation. She was born with a rare genetic disorder, Jarcho-Levin Syndrome. It is characterized by severe malformations of the chest cavity, ribs and thorax, thus affecting her ability to breathe. She was diagnosed with Septo Optic Dysplasia when she was six months old. It causes blindness.
Although her family was told she’d never be able to walk or even sit up, she has persevered and thrived. Hailey has competed in four Oklahoma Braille Challenges and won first place each time. She is fluent in speaking and reading the Cherokee language, and she aspires to become an inventor.
“Hailey truly puts a smile on the face of everyone she meets,” said Jan Dunham, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals director. “She may have had a challenging beginning, but she is taking the rest of her life by storm and showing it she’s in control.”
The 2015-16 Champions program is presented by Delta Air Lines, Marriott International and Chico’s FAS, Inc.
On June 7, 53 Champions and their guests gathered in Atlanta, Ga., Delta’s headquarters and largest hub. In addition to sharing their stories with Atlanta-based media, the ambassadors were welcomed at a special event at the Delta Flight Museum, where they thanked Delta employees for their continued support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
A private Delta-chartered flight then transported the group to the nation’s capital where employees of Marriott, CMN Hospitals’ longest-standing corporate partner, welcomed them. Chico’s FAS, Inc. also provided gifts for the Champions, moms and caregivers upon their arrival.
While in Washington, D.C., Champions met with local representatives on Capitol Hill, participated in a satellite media tour and continued to raise awareness for the charitable needs of children’s hospitals.
As the National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev accompanied the Champions and participated with them in media opportunities. Actress Zendaya Coleman, from Disney’s “KC Undercover,” also joined a portion of the Ambassador Tour.
The 2015-16 Champions will reunite in February 2016 for the final leg of their Ambassador Tour. This will take place in Orlando, Fla., at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ annual Momentum event where the charity’s 170 hospital partners gather with corporate and media partners. Through additional speaking engagements, appearances and media interviews, the Champions will complete their year of service by thanking and inspiring those who support the children’s hospitals they depend on.
To learn more about Oklahoma’s Champion Child Hailey, and for a short video of last year’s Ambassador Tour, visit CMNHospitals.org/Champions.