Walking for Brady
This fall marks the fifth anniversary of Cincinnati Walks for Kids, the annual community fundraising event to support Cincinnati Children’s and the patients and families we serve. On October 16, thousands of people will join together at Coney Island to enjoy a fun-filled day for the whole family.
As a mom and a Cincinnati Children’s employee, Becky Meyer participates in the walk to give back to the medical center for the care her son Brady, 7, has received over the years. Brady is the inspiration behind Brady’s Bunch, Becky’s Cincinnati Walks for Kids team.
“I’m proud of who he is and I celebrate who he is,” says Becky. “I feel very lucky that I’ve had him for seven years.”
Brady was born with a kidney disorder and Pierre Robin Syndrome, a condition in which facial structures develop abnormally, causing problems with breathing and feeding. Brady also has cerebral palsy and uncontrollable epilepsy that plagues him with hundreds of seizures a day, sometimes as many as 20 per minute.
Between therapy and visiting various doctors, Becky was taking Brady to Cincinnati Children’s up to five times a week. When Brady was 18 months, she took him to the Center for Infants and Children with Special Needs at Cincinnati Children’s. The center began to coordinate all of Brady’s care, which drastically reduced the number of visits to the medical center.
Becky recalls walking into the clinic for the first time, being prepared to answer a laundry list of questions about Brady’s medical history. But to her amazement, the staff had already pulled Brady’s chart and written every single thing down, including every lab, every test he had, and every physician he had seen since he was an infant.
“They went through every single detail,” Becky says, “and I thought – ‘this is going to be different’. From then on, it was a pretty amazing journey.”
When Becky heard about Cincinnati Walks for Kids, she knew it was the perfect way to give back to the hospital and help other children receive world-class care. So, she went to the walk web site, signed up as a team captain, and asked friends and family to join Brady’s Bunch. The first year, Brady’s Bunch had 15 members and raised $3,573 by asking friends and family for donations.
In 2009, Brady’s Bunch – 60 members strong – raised an incredible $15,000 for Cincinnati Walks for Kids, ranking fifth out of more than 400 teams. Individually, Brady, with help from his mom, raised $9,500, making him the third highest individual fundraisers at the event. Becky starts planning in June for the October walk, hosting various events to help generate more funds and engage others in the cause.
“Cincinnati Walks for Kids is the one event per year that I save all of my energy for, and everybody knows it,” she says. “You feel the energy of the walk the moment you step out of your car,” Becky says. “Then you walk around and see kids in wheelchairs, you see kids you don’t even know are sick, you see families celebrating the memory of their child who has passed away. It’s incredible, and I don’t know anybody that has attended that hasn’t wanted to go back every year.”
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