Today, on Valentines Day, Nationwide Children’s Hospital joined with partners from Nationwide Insurance and the City of Columbus to introduce “Miracles At Play” – what the hospital hopes to be a community-wide movement aimed at celebrating the many miracles that take place each and every day at the hospital. To help kick-off Miracles At Play, a dramatic new downtown wallscape featuring the “Miracle 7” children was unveiled today. Donated by Nationwide Insurance, it towers 12 stories above downtown Columbus at 8 E. Long Street, and is one of the largest wallscape advertisements of its kind in the country.
There is no cost for the public to become a part of the movement, anyone can join and joining is as easy as doing one of four things:
1.) Go to MiraclesAtPlay.org and sign-up by sharing your name and e-mail address.
2.) “Like” the hospital on Facebook. The hospital’s Facebook page is accessible via MiraclesAtPlay.org.
3.) Follow the hospital on Twitter (@nationwidekids and also accessible via MiraclesAtPlay.org).
4.) Share your own miracle story – how you or your family has been affected by the hospital – at MiraclesAtPlay.org.
Additionally, members of the community can help Nationwide Children’s generate as much as $100,000 through the Miracles At Play Kick-Off Challenge simply by signing up to support the movement. The goal of the Challenge is for 100,000 people to join the Miracles At Play. For the first 100,000 people to join, Wolfe Associates, Inc. will donate $1 per person to the hospital. The Challenge is just the beginning of Miracles At Play, and what Nationwide Children’s hopes to be an on-going community effort.
“Wolfe Associates, Inc. is proud to partner with Nationwide Children’s Hospital as the presenting sponsor of the Miracles At Play Kick-Off Challenge,” said John F. Wolfe of Wolfe Associates, Inc. “We hope that the public will embrace the challenge and join the movement to support the hospital. We encourage other businesses to come online and join us in getting involved.”
After joining the movement, supporters will learn more about inspirational stories from inside Nationwide Children’s, and be able to share their own miracle story (as patients and families). As part of the movement, they will also have the opportunity to support the hospital through events and on-line activities such as sending e-greeting cards to hospitalized patients and other activities in the coming months.
“Nationwide is very proud of our long tradition of supporting Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” said Chad Jester, vice president of Corporate Citizenship at Nationwide Insurance. “We know from experience that creating a downtown wallscape is a great way to generate buzz in the community. We thought it would be a great way to help the hospital get off to a strong start with Miracles At Play.”
City of Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman joined officials from Nationwide Children’s, Nationwide Insurance and the Miracle 7 kids and their families during today’s celebration at Nationwide.
“The people of Columbus have so many reasons to be proud of their great city,” said Mayor Coleman. “Today, on our city’s 199th birthday, we begin the countdown to the 2012 Bicentennial. One of the most significant initiatives we will celebrate next year will be the opening of the new main hospital tower at Nationwide Children’s. Our children’s hospital is a point of pride for Columbus, and it has been a catalyst for economic growth in our community. Nationwide Children’s has grown up in our city – from humble beginnings to becoming nationally recognized as a leader in pediatric health care and research. As we look to what will be a year-long celebration in 2012, Nationwide Children’s will hold a special place among the many accomplishments this city has made in its 200 years.”
Abigail Wexner, chair of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Board of Directors, was on hand to help dedicate the wallscape and launch Miracles At Play.
“On an average day, nearly 3,000 children and their families turn to Nationwide Children’s,” said Mrs. Wexner. “We are here to provide the absolute best care for every one of them with the nation’s finest pediatric physicians, researchers and staff. Most importantly, no child is turned away because of the family’s inability to pay. This is only possible because of the amazing support we have here in Columbus. Miracles are made possible at Nationwide Children’s because the people in this community care so much about all of our kids.”
“We believe that the central Ohio community will embrace Miracles At Play by joining the movement in an effort to support the hospital,” said Steve Allen, MD, chief executive officer of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “We hear every day from parents who are grateful for the healthy children in their lives. This is a way for everyone in the community to join us to help the children who are still waiting for their miracle to happen. It is great way to get inspired and involved with Nationwide Children’s. We are so appreciative to Nationwide Insurance and Wolfe Associates for their support.”
About the Miracle 7
Alison, Anna, Ian, Lucas, PJ, Rylan and Savanna – the “Miracle 7” – are the heart and soul of the Miracles At Play wallscape and movement. The seven children, all depicted in the wallscape, are either patients of Nationwide Children’s or are connected to the hospital, and each have a dramatic story to tell. They represent the millions of stories and miracles that have happened at the hospital since it first opened nearly 120 years ago. Here’s a little more about them …
Alison Hile, 10, from Hilliard (on the swing)
When Alison was born, she had an obstruction in her bowel and had to have surgery at just 2 days old. Not long after surgery, she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. To this day, Alison continues to receive treatment at Nationwide Children’s. She is a bright, active fourth grader who loves playing with her twin sister, their labradoodle, Darby, and their many friends.
Anna Hahn, 8, from Upper Arlington (on the teeter totter, left)
Anna has had asthma for many years, but it had always been controlled by medication. One evening her inhaler could not keep up with her breathing difficulties, so her parents took her to an emergency department. Within minutes of examining her, the doctor told her parents she needed to go to Nationwide Children’s by ambulance. Upon arrival at the hospital, an emergency team was waiting for her. She spent four days in the intensive care unit – one lung was fully collapsed and another was partially collapsed. Doctors carefully monitored her and prescribed the right combination of medications and treatment to heal her. Anna continues to monitor her asthma but does not let it get in the way of her active lifestyle as a second grader.
Ian Sanchez, 5, from Washington Court House (on the slide)
When medications could not heal Ian’s failing heart, the team at Nationwide Children’s led his family through their long and difficult journey to his heart transplant. Ian was only 3 months old when he had his heart transplant. Today he is a healthy, active little boy, with three older sisters who he loves to play with.
Lucas Byers, 7, from Hilliard (on the monkey bars)
After Lucas’ little sister, Sophie, underwent successful brain surgery at Nationwide Children’s, Lucas decided he wanted to thank the doctors and nurses that helped his little sister. He did so by setting up a lemonade stand at his house and raised $40 to help sick kids get better.
PJ Lavette, 5, from Marion (on the swing)
PJ was very thin and looked very tired when he first came to the Endocrinology Clinic at Nationwide Children’s. It was then, at just 15 months old that PJ was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. His doctor, who has cared for PJ for the last four years, taught his parents how to treat his condition with regular insulin injections. Today, while still battling the disease, PJ is no longer tired. By doing daily blood-sugar checks and taking his medication, PJ and his parents are able to manage his diabetes, allowing PJ be the active little boy he has always been.
Rylan Bell, 2, from Reynoldsburg (playing on the grass)
Rylan was born 19 weeks premature, weighing only a pound and measuring just 10 inches long. He was one of the tiniest babies cared for by the skilled neonatal medicine team at Nationwide Children’s. While in the neonatal intensive care unit, Rylan underwent five surgeries. Today, Rylan is a thriving toddler with a huge smile that will light up any room.
Savanna Bartley, 7, from Pickerington (on the teeter totter, right)
When Savanna was just 2-years-old, she experienced abnormal leg pain. A bone marrow test revealed that she was suffering from ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia). Savanna immediately began a rigorous chemotherapy and radiation treatment plan at Nationwide Children’s. Today, she is doing extremely well and continues follow-up care at the hospital. Savanna enjoys her school work, teachers and friends in the second grade.
More about the Miracles At Play Wallscape
The wallscape, nearly 150 feet tall and 21,000 square feet in its entirety, is one of the largest wallscape advertisements of its kind in the country. Each of the Miracle 7 kids is about four stories tall, and if standing next to the mural, each child is about as tall as their own shoe. The teeter-tooter alone weighs nearly 5,000 pounds, and the entire wallscape comes in at approximately 15,000 pounds.
The wallscape, donated by Nationwide Insurance, was designed by Engauge (Columbus, Ohio) and created by Orange Barrel Media (Grove City, Ohio). Bender Imaging (Columbus, Ohio) conducted photo shoots with the Miracle 7 children at outside locations in Columbus. Their retouching team then created the giant visuals seen on the wallscape today.
Fabrication on all the parts and pieces of the wallscape first began mid December 2010 at Orange Barrel’s warehouse and was completed the end of January 2011. Installation at the Atlas Building in downtown Columbus began on January 27, 2011 and was just completed this morning, February 14. Current terms call for the wallscape to be up until fall 2011.
Previously, the space was home to notable Nationwide Insurance wallscapes featuring a larger than life Fabio transformed into an old man, and paint cans spilling onto cars in the parking lot below.