Families Giving Back By Participating In ‘Walk For Children’s’

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It may surprise you, but the parents of a little boy born with some very serious complications consider themselves – and their son – very blessed. And on Saturday, they intend to show their appreciation.

Their blessing is named Bennett. He’s eight months old. Not that those eight months have not been easy for Bennett, or for his parents, Tammi and Dan Kramer of  Castle Shannon. So much of Bennett’s life has been lived at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC: a series of ultrasounds, genetic testing, bloodwork, MRI’s, x-rays and two surgeries.

Bennett was born with several complications, including a lung malformation. He needed the kind of care that has parents essentially moving in to Children’s Hospital – at one point, for two weeks straight – because when it’s your child, this becomes your whole world.

“You’re doing laundry at Children’s… the gym is over that way,” says dad Dan Kramer.

“He is the light in my life. He’s everything to me. And we essentially handed him off,” says mom Terri Kramer.  “We were trusting the surgeons with Bennett’s life”

The Kramers say Bennett is doing well now, although still facing challenges and lots of time with specialists. So how is it that in all this, Dan and Tammi will tell you they feel blessed?

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“We saw a lot of very, very sad stuff at Children’s,” says Tammi. “We saw people lose their children. We saw very sick kids. We saw things that you couldn’t possibly imagine. So you have a desire to help those families and to give back.”

And one way they’re giving back is by gathering a big group of family, friends and co-workers to be part of the first annual “Walk For Children’s” on Saturday morning in Schenley Park. The event caps off a year-long celebration of Children’s 125th anniversary.

Before anyone takes a single step, because of people like the Kramers, the walk is already a big success.

“We just went over $500,000 raised. We have about 2,000 walkers coming down, 200 fundraising teams,” says Brian Harman of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. “It’s been an outpouring of support from the community that we’re so proud of.”

It’s more than just a walk Saturday morning. They’ll have a drumline, a battle of the bands and other family-oriented activities. You can register to walk online or on-site beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday morning.

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