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LEXINGTON CHILD SERVES AS AMBASSADOR FOR UK CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL ON NATIONAL CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK PROGRAM

By Tammy Gay

Photo of Bethany Anderson
Bethany Anderson smiles at the announcement by Vipul Mankad, director of UK Children's Hospital, that she will represent Kentucky on the national Children's Miracle Network broadcast

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"Bethany has fought a battle against leukemia twice, and she's beat it. Without the help from the people at UK Children's Hospital, she may not have gotten this far."

-- Carol Anderson,
mother of Bethany Anderson

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May 24, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- After fighting two battles against acute lymphocytic leukemia since the age of 2, Bethany Anderson, now 10, and her parents will celebrate her good health with a visit to the White House to share their story with the world. Bethany will be one of 50 children -- one from every state -- to participate in a Children's Miracle Network program called Foresters Champions Across America.

Bethany, a third grade student at Garden Springs Elementary in Lexington, Ky., was treated at University of Kentucky Children's Hospital.

Selected as Kentucky's representative in the program, Bethany will go to Washington, D.C., as an ambassador for 17 million hospitalized children.

"Kids like Bethany remind us how important children's hospitals are in our communities," said Children's Miracle Network co-founder John Schneider of the WB's "Smallville."

"Without public support, specialized facilities like the University of Kentucky Children's Hospital might not be available to work miracles for so many kids."

The UK Children's Hospital, which opened in 1997, cares for more than 6,000 patients like Bethany each year. Dedicated to meeting the health care needs of children from infancy to adolescence, the staff of UK Children's Hospital takes a family-centered care approach.

"Bethany has fought a battle against leukemia twice, and she's beat it," said Carol Anderson, her mother. "Without the help from the people at UK Children's Hospital, she may not have gotten this far."

Bethany was diagnosed and began her chemotherapy treatment for leukemia in 1994. Her course of treatment was thought to be complete in 1996, but two years later, her remission ended. Her second round with chemotherapy ended last summer.

Bethany did not let her illness get her down. When she began losing her hair after her second round of treatments, she said, "Cool, I can paint my head."

Through it all, she continued to draw and sing. In 2000, her artwork was chosen for the UK Children's Hospital holiday cards. While undergoing treatment, she decided to help the Hospital by going to local stores and selling the cards herself.

Children's Miracle Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children by raising funds and awareness for 170 children's hospitals throughout North America. Each year these non-profit hospitals treat 17 million children with diseases and injuries of every kind.

The UK Children's Hospital will be the local beneficiary for the 15th year of the annual Children's Miracle Network campaign to raise funds.

The highlight of the campaign is the broadcast of the CMN Celebration, which will air locally May 31-June 1 on WKYT-TV, channel 27 (Lexington), and WYMT-TV, channel 57 (Hazard). Broadcast live from Fayette Mall in Lexington, the television extravaganza begins at 8 p.m. May 31 and will run until 11 p.m.

The celebration will continue on June 1, beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. Co-hosts are Barbara Bailey and Bill Bryant, WKYT-TV, and Tony Turner, WYMT-TV. All proceeds raised in Kentucky, stay in Kentucky to benefit the UK Children's Hospital, the only participating hospital in the state. In the past 15 years, CMN has raised more than $7 million for the UK Children's Hospital.


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