Amie Vradenburg is no stranger to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
From taking customer donations at the register during Walmart’s annual campaign to touring her local Children’s hospital, CMN Hospitals was always a beloved part of Amie’s career journey. But it wasn’t until her daughter, Billie Jo, complained of severe migraines at the age of 13 that the experience became personal.
“Billie Jo’s teachers were reporting behavioral issues, and a doctor had diagnosed her with ADHD,” Amie said. “She was experiencing anxiety, and it seemed like simple things would agitate her – but I knew there was something else going on. When she told me about her migraines, I decided we had to make a change.”
Amie took Billie Jo to the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital, where she received the neuropsychological evaluation that revealed a post-traumatic stress diagnosis, caused by unknown concussions that Billie Jo experienced in a bullying incident two years prior.
“We met two child psychologists who truly changed the course of my daughter's life,” Amie recalls. “Dr. Bradley Clopton and Dr. Sara Pawlowski advocated for Billie Jo, and after that first diagnosis, they helped us find better school accommodations and corrected her medication. It’s so hard to see your child suffering and upset, but we just kept pushing forward.”
This year marks 31 years of Walmart associates supporting CMN Hospitals through store campaigns and fundraising events. CMN Hospitals reports that Walmart is on track to become the first ever CMN Hospitals corporate sponsor to reach $1 billion in funds raised.
“Children are only children once, and the support we’ve received from CMN Hospitals has been tremendous,” said Amie. “It drives me to do as much as I can to be able to provide those services to people in need.”
Lead photo: A young shopper asks associate Kimberlina about her Children's Miracle Network pins at the Goose Creek Neighborhood Market in South Carolina.