KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Hospitals can be scary places for anyone, but children are especially intimidated by strange equipment and medical staff buzzing around them in the unfamiliar surroundings of a busy hospital.
The annual Walk Across Kalamazoo fundraiser to benefit The Children’s Hospital at Bronson helps offset the costs of providing specialized services to help young patients heal not just physically, but emotionally, psychologically, and socially as well.
Behind the whimsical, mural-lined walls of the children’s hospital are state-of-the-art programs and technology proven to enhance outcomes for children suffering from illness or injury. Treatments like music and art therapy not only reduce fear and anxiety, they actually alleviate pain – even reducing the need for medication.
Whether a child is suffering from cancer or cystic fibrosis, palliative care and other life enhancing treatments are vital components of care. Funds raised by Walk Across Kalamazoo go to the Bronson Health Foundation’s Children’s Hospital Fund to support pediatric life enhancement services, including child life services, music therapy, palliative care and more. These services are typically not covered or are only partially covered by insurance. Donations from members of the community and events such as the Walk provide much needed support.
As southwest Michigan's only children's hospital, babies to adolescents from a ten-county area are transferred to Bronson from dozens of community hospitals. The Children’s Hospital at Bronson provides care in virtually every pediatric specialty, and patients are never turned away because their families cannot pay. In fact, Bronson is the largest Medicaid provider outside of southeast Michigan and is one of only six children’s hospitals in Michigan. It is also a member of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions.
Walk Across Kalamazoo will be held on Sunday, October 2 starting in the Bronson Methodist Hospital parking lot at the corner of John and Lovell streets in downtown Kalamazoo. Festivities for children, displays, and exhibits begin at 11:30 a.m. and the Walk starts at 1:00 p.m., followed by snacks and activities until 3:00 p.m.
Walkers may choose the 5K long route or a shorter route. Attendees can walk as individuals, or they can create or join a team. The entry cost including a tee shirt is $25 for adults and $15 for children ages six and up. Children younger than six are free.
Look for event details, online registration and patient testimonials at www.bronsonhealth.com/walk.
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