Regional Health Foundation names 2018 champion child

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

Each year, the Regional Health Foundation names a champion to become the face of the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN). This year’s champion is Cami Whetham.

Cami is now almost 3 years old and is a healthy toddler, which is quite a transformation. Cami born 13 weeks early, weighing less than 2 pounds.

Cami’s mother, Anna Whetham, endured a life-threatening pregnancy. Anna had developed complications 27 weeks into her pregnancy and was treated at Rapid City Regional Hospital. Physicians discovered her symptoms were due to a serious case of preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome.

The only way to save both Anna and Cami was to perform an emergency cesarean section.

After the delivery, Cami needed expert care and advanced equipment in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which is where she’d spend the next two months.

Development Coordinator for CMN, Shawn Powers, says the Champion Program allows families to share their stories and help raise funds for other families who will go through similar hardships.

“We like to share stories, and the Champions Program is really what that's all about,” Powers says. “It's letting us tell the story of a kid from our area that's been impacted through these Children's Miracle Network funds. And this story is really amazing.”

Anna and her husband, Josh, are happy to represent CMN and share their story to help other families.

"Truly live in the moment, because at a very young age we had to kind of look death in the face - I did - and he had to look at losing his wife and daughter that he hadn't even met yet,” Anna said. “And that's tough. But after coming from that, I think it really gives you perspective on what really matters in life. And that life is short. So do what you want to do - be ambitious. Go for that thing that you’re going for. Because life is worth living.”

All the money raised through CMN stays local to help families in the Black Hills.

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