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Young girl makes big mark in funding and awareness for special-needs children statewide

January 27, 2014
By
Original Author: Bay City News Service

SalinasGirl01.23.14

Molly's outgoing personality, bright smile, perseverance and never-give-up attitude landed her the role as the program ambassador.

Don Hall

Father of Molly Hall

An 8-year-old Salinas girl living with cerebral palsy will help raise awareness and funds for children in need of medical treatment in California as the Children’s Miracle Network’s “Miracle Child” of 2014.

Molly Hall, a third-grader who is at the top of her class at University Park Elementary School in Salinas, was named to the post Thursday in an announcement Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System’s board of directors meeting.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is an international nonprofit that raises money for 170 member hospitals in Canada and the U.S. that treat

sick children.

Melissa Gross, the program coordinator for the network at SVMHS, said Molly was initially selected as the hospital’s “miracle child” before being nominated to be the program ambassador for the entire state.

Molly, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 3, has been a patient at SVMHS for many years, Gross said.

While Molly has difficulty speaking, she has learned to use a computer and is able to communicate well with those around her. She is enrolled in a regular third-grade class and excels in her academics, Gross said.

Despite her compromised motor skills, Molly enjoys playing kickball and has even gone tubing with her family. Gross said Molly is eager to try new things no matter how challenging, and that is what makes her an inspiration to other children and an ideal ambassador for the program.

Molly’s father, Don Hall, said Molly’s outgoing personality,”bright smile, perseverance and never-give-up attitude” landed her the role as the program ambassador.

Hall said that in the ambassador position, Molly will not only help raise funds for children in need of medical treatment and equipment, but also create positive exposure for special-needs children.

With the support of past CMN donations, Molly received a custom mobility tricycle from “Santa Claus” and a computer that allows her to type with her feet, which are more agile than her hands, Gross said.

A portion of the equipment in the SVMHS pediatrics department is funded by donations received through Children’s Miracle Network, according to Gross.

Among the equipment are nine Giraffe OmniBed incubators in the neo-natal intensive care unit. The new incubators weigh and monitor babies

who are born prematurely and provide oxygen, Gross said.

As an ambassador, Molly will accompany Gross on campaign visits in an effort to raise donations from corporations. After a year as an ambassador, Molly and her family will be invited to a celebration in Florida and a tour of Washington, D.C., with a possible visit from President Obama.

In 2013, SVMHS’s CMN raised $500,000 for children’s medical treatment, Gross said. She said the 2014 fundraising goal is $750,000. Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Salinas Valley Memorial Health Care System can do so online at https://www.svmhfoundation.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=233&srcid=210. To follow Molly’s journey as a CMN ambassador on Twitter, look for #miraclemolly.