Walk-A-Thon on Trezona Trail raises over $6,000 for Children’s Miracle Network

by Pam Roberts

During the Whiteside Park ceremony honoring veterans of WW II, a check for $6,122.50 to the Gillette Children’s Miracle Network was presented to Karen and Steve Erickson and their children Peter, Brenna and Eli from Hibbing, Minnesota. <BR><BR>The Children’s Miracle Network, founded in 1983, divided Canada and United States into regions for its purposes. Each region chose a children’s hospital to receive funds. <BR><BR>In the region Gillette Children’s Hospital is the affiliate and has been treating children with disabilities since 1897. <BR><BR>Its main facility is in St. Paul with clinics in New Brighton, Minnetonka, and Duluth. In 2003 Gillette saw 17,198 children, 6,000 of them were new patients last year. <BR><BR>The Duluth Clinic saw 1,250 special needs patients, 222 of them from St. Louis County alone. <BR><BR>Gillette has established a mobile outreach clinic and goes to the Laurentian Clinic in Virginia and the Hibbing Family Medical Center in Hibbing where the Ericksons have been able to see their doctor, Dr. Kevin Murphy. <BR><BR>Son Peter Erickson has been a patient at Gillette for about four years and because of this mobile outreach, the Ericksons have saved thousands of miles and many days travel time. They still receive the specialized care that is provided at Gillette in St. Paul which not only meets the physical needs of Peter, but also meets the needs of the whole family. <BR><BR>Peter will be going down to Gillette in St. Paul this week to have a consultation for a major surgery he needs this summer. This is the first time in 3 1/2 years that they have had to take the trip to St. Paul. <BR><BR>Peter has cerebral palsy, which is a generic term for a brain injury which occurred while inside his birth mother’s womb and shortly after delivery. Since the brain is the control center for the body, Peter’s body is now handicapped. <BR><BR>Shortly after he was born he was put into foster care and Karen met him in the hospital where he was a patient of hers, and the Ericksons adopted him. They were told it would be very likely that he would not walk and would be nonverbal. At that time he was fed primarily through a feeding tube and developmentally would not reach the age of two years old because of the extent of the brain injury. <BR><BR>The Ericksons said they put their trust in God, and because of Peter’s determination and spirit he has overcome those obstacles. He can now use a walker on level ground and is very vocal. When he wakes up every morning he says, “What are we going to do today.” <BR><BR>Peter will be entering the second grade this fall and is socially appropriate for his age. <BR><BR>The Ericksons were very thankful for the opportunity to share the miracle in Peter’s life during the WW II Dedication Service in Whiteside Park and are thankful for the donation and the gift of compassion and kindness that went into making this donation possible.