2023 Walk for Children’s: Celebrating Our First $1 Million Walk
Walk for Children’s, presented by UPMC and UPMC Health Plan, reached new heights this year, gathering 4,157 walkers, 255 teams, and 54 sponsors. Through their collective efforts, the participants not only surpassed the ambitious fundraising goal of $1 million but also set a remarkable milestone by raising a total of $1,033,362. This achievement highlights the incredible generosity and dedication of individuals, organizations, and the community as a whole, demonstrating that every step counts toward achieving the healthy future every child deserves.
Supporting Flexible Care
The funds raised through Walk for Children’s play a vital role in providing UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh with the flexibility it needs to respond to evolving needs and seize new opportunities. These financial contributions ensure that children receive groundbreaking care, treatment, and cures provided at UPMC Children’s every day. The funds support various initiatives, including research, medical education, Child Life services, social work, music and art therapy, and other programs that distinguish UPMC Children’s as a top ranked pediatric facility.
Why We Walk – My Brother’s Keeper
Every family at UPMC Children’s has a unique story. In the midst of challenging circumstances, they find strength and support through initiatives like Walk for Children’s. Here is just one of the thousands of stories that make Walk for Children’s so special:
“In April of 2017, the 34-week preemies made their grand entry and quickly became a part of the UPMC Children’s NICU family, where they spent their first 6 weeks of life. From then on, we’ve spent so much time there in various parts of the hospital whether it was for an appointment, admission, or ER visits.
Before they were born, I knew Jaxon, Twin A, was going to have issues with his heart and would need surgery soon after birth. What I didn’t know was that he would have a stroke, issues with his intestines, and a laundry list of other things wrong, all of which were totally out of left field. I was on edge and thought the worst anytime a call came, a doctor coming in the room, etc., especially after being told he wouldn’t make it. After numerous surgeries, hospital stays, testing, for other issues beyond his heart, he still stands! All praise to God!
Fast forward to now here they are still living, thriving, and making strides towards better health! Without the help of all the medical staff-specialists, doctors, surgeons, nurses, family support persons, and so on we wouldn’t be here to tell our story.”
– Ashley, Jaxon and Caron’s Mom
A Community United
Since its inception in 2016, Walk for Children’s has grown into the our largest annual event, bringing together patients, families, physicians, employees, community members, and corporate partners. Over the years, the event has raised an impressive $6.5 million, a testament to the unwavering commitment of the community to advance pediatric healthcare. Participants have collectively walked over 53,000 miles!
Gratitude and Connection
Rachel Petrucelli, President of UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation, expressed deep gratitude for the overwhelming support received during the event. “You help make this magical moment possible. It’s a confluence of gratitude, connection, and community across our patients and families, our staff, and members of the community who are grateful [for UPMC Children’s] even if they never had to step through our doors, to know UPMC Children’s is there for every child.”
The extraordinary achievement of our walkers and sponsors this year reflect the power of community, compassion, and collective action in supporting pediatric healthcare. Through the dedicated efforts of walkers, teams, and sponsors, a new fundraising record was set, furthering UPMC Children’s ability to provide exceptional care and resources to their patients and families. The event’s success underscores the significance of ongoing support and highlights the integral role each individual plays in creating the healthy future every child deserves.
The Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation Awards Grant to Further Cancer Research
Named for legendary golfer and Latrobe native Arnold Palmer and his wife, Winnie, the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation is committed to making a difference in the lives of children and families.
Sydney was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Urea Cycle Disorder / Ornithine Transcarbamylase deficiency (UCD/OTC) at just one year old.
World-Class Palliative Care for Every Child and Family, at Every Stage of Life
The new Division of Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care aims to build a future where there are no barriers to this life-changing care.
Lorenzo’s Journey to the Heart Institute at UPMC Children’s
Within days of his birth, a team of skilled surgeons at UPMC Children’s performed open heart surgery on Lorenzo.
Children’s Trust Grants $100,000 for Startup Pediatric Research
Each spring, a group of hand-selected researchers pitch next generation, budding research concepts to members of the Children’s Trust for a chance at winning seed funding to help kickstart their research.
Welcoming New Leadership on the Board of Trustees
Learn more about Vanessa and what inspires her to serve UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh so proudly, in her own words.
Philanthropy Supports Individualized Behavioral Health Care
Throughout our hospital, there are many licensed psychologists dedicated to supporting specific service lines.