UPDATE: Radiothon supports patients, families of American Family Children’s Hospital

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UPDATE (WKOW) — The Radiothon raised $711,278 over three days and 39 hours.

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MADISON (WKOW) — Friday is the final push for the American Family Children’s Hospital annual Radiothon.

The event raises money for patients and their families.  Money goes to the extra things that patients and families need to make their time in the hospital comfortable – from transportation, meals, programming and more.

You can listen to stories of patients and families who have been personally impacted by the hospital on 106.3 and 93.1 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday.

To donate, call 1-877-719-KIDS (5437) or click here.

Ahead of the radiothon, we spoke to the Hatchett family, forever changed by their experience with American Family Children’s Hospital.  The three siblings we interviewed went through five diagnoses in five years.  Caleb, Hannah and Daniel all live with type I diabetes.  Caleb was also diagnosed with stage four bone cancer.  “It was really, really hard. And there were a lot of points where I didn’t want to go on, and I was done. And I can remember specifically, I can think of nurses coming to my mind that would come into my room and sit and talk to me for hours either on night shift when they had the chance. They’d come and sit and really invest in me. They didn’t have to do that. This is technically a job. But for them it’s not. It’s a lifestyle, and it’s a calling,” he said.

Hannah was also diagnosed with epilepsy.  “The hospital tends to be one of the darkest places or where people feel the most alone or dark, and they find joy. Every day they try to find one thing that will brighten up your day,” she said.

“I think a good word for it would be home. Whenever I come home I feel safe. I don’t have to worry about a lot of different things. But when I go to the hospital, it really feels like home because of how the people view you,” said Daniel.  He spent a lot of time there, not only treating his diabetes, but being there for his siblings.  “You feel very safe. You feel like you’re going to be treated well. You’re going to be able to get whatever is going wrong taken care of in the best way it can possibly be taken care of.”

The Hatchett parents have also dealt with a lot, watching their children live with their diagnoses, but they had nothing but praise for the staff and experience with the hospital.  “It’s a sacred place. The work that they do is not only physically, but it is sacred because they’re saving the lives of children. They’re saving the lives of families that have been broken by disease and hardship, and it’s priceless. It’s absolutely priceless. And I don’t think we would’ve made it through in tact, and as whole as we are without their support,” said mom, Tina.

“Some of our children would not have made it through health-wise without their care,” added dad, Scott.  “We’re convinced of that. There’s been times they’ve caught things, helped diagnose and treat, be it cancer or even epilepsy or other challenges different children have faced, and we’re grateful for that.”

The hospital will release a grand total of the money raised once the radiothon is completed.

Caroline Bach

Caroline Bach

Anchor, Wake Up Wisconsin Weekend

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