Twenty-four hours of broadcasting added up to $401,703 raised during the 22nd annual Mississippi Miracles Radiothon.
Thirteen Digio Strategies radio stations – Y101, Mix 98.7, U.S. 96, 93.5 The Legend and Blues 93.1 in Jackson; Vicksburg stations K Hits 104.5, River 101.3, 92.7 The Touch and 102.1 The Box; and 97 OKK, Q101, Kiss 104.1 and 95.1 The Beat of Meridian – were on the air from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 2 and 3, sharing stories from Children’s of Mississippi patients and their families.
Listeners and sponsors teamed up to raise funds to support the Children’s of Mississippi mission of helping all the children in the state reach their full potential. Radiothon donations raise funds for items that contribute to the care and comfort of patients and their families.
During the past 22 years, more than $7.94 million has been raised.
The amount raised is a testament to the giving spirit of Mississippians, said Kathryne Lewis, a University of Mississippi Medical Center development liaison.
“Mississippi’s many businesses and individuals show their love for children and families through Mississippi Miracles Radiothon to support the health care children need,” she said. “The amount raised each year comes from donations of every size, and each of them comes from the heart.”
De’Nahri Middleton has been a regular at Radiothon. Now 12 and a sixth-grader at Northwest Middle School in Jackson, De’Nahri, who has undergone 10 surgeries in 11 years to treat his kidney disease, has created a Kidneyman superhero.
“In my mind, you’re the superhero,” said Scott Steele, marketing specialist and an on-air personality for 93.5 The Legend.
Having started life with care from Children’s of Mississippi, De’Nahri had praise for the state’s only children’s hospital. “I love Children’s of Mississippi,” he said. “The doctors and nurses here have helped me make it to 12.”
Jacquelyn Brown of Bogue Chitto, mom to Lynleigh Grace Brown, agrees. A maternal fetal sonographer, Brown discovered a congenital heart defect in her daughter’s heart before she was born. Lynleigh, at 2, has already had open heart surgery at Children’s of Mississippi and may have more procedures ahead.
“Children’s of Mississippi is the best of the best,” Brown said. “You never know if you’re going to need this place, but it happens. I thank God the children’s hospital is here because otherwise we would have had to travel out of state for care.”
Born with spina bifida, Evan Renfroe of Lena gets care from Children’s of Mississippi experts in urology, neurology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, plastic surgery and physical therapy. The 14-year-old said of his doctors, “They take (patients) from their brokenness and build them back up into mighty and strong.”
Kim Allen, a U.S. 96 on-air personality, is a mother and grandmother. “I’m thankful to know that if our family needed Children’s of Mississippi that it’s here for us.”
Harper Ricks of Carrollton refers to Children’s of Mississippi as “Bubba’s hospital.”
Her brother Wade celebrated his first birthday by getting an on-the-air serenade from Mix 98.7 broadcasters during Radiothon, just a few months after having surgery at the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower for craniosynostosis, a condition in which the bones in a baby’s skull fuse together too soon. The procedure at the Stephanie and Mitchell Morris Center for Cleft and Craniofacial Research and Innovation at Children’s of Mississippi gave his brain room to grow, said mom Laura Ricks.
Thanks to care at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Mississippi, Mary Mosley Pickering is beating acute lymphoblastic leukemia, said her mom, Jessica Pickering of Philadelphia.
“Going from the Emergency Department to the hospital, going to clinic visits and getting chemo twice a week – it’s a lot,” Pickering said during a radio interview, “but everyone at Children’s of Mississippi took care of her and our family. They knew this was hard for us.”
They still do, Pickering said. Mary Mosley, now in the long-term maintenance phase of her treatment, “gets hugged on from the moment she walks in.”
The Mississippi Miracles Radiothon may be over, but the giving continues online or by texting GROW to 51555.
By Annie Oeth/UMMC Public Affairs