In the past 12 years, the Woodward Radiothon has raised over $2.9 million to benefit Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. During this year’s event, the air staff interviewed more than 25 families who shared their experiences at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. One of our GU-Green Bay students shared her heart-wrenching and inspiring story on air! During this event, Globe Green Bay sponsored the radiothon in honor of Ariaunna Hunt (pictured below).
Marlee Gevaert, a Vet Tech student at Globe Green Bay has had her emotional strength tested constantly over the last 5 years. She balances school, keeping her home and finances together, and caring for her very ill daughter, Ari Hunt. She stated that Children’s Hospital has, on numerous occasions, helped her keep moving forward no matter how difficult the situation.
Prior to her birth, Ari had complications with her kidneys and her parents were aware of this about six months into the pregnancy. Upon delivery, numerous other challenges faced this family. It turned out that Ari was a “twin that didn’t split”. The day after Ari was born, she was in surgery for other extreme conditions. Ari was in the Nic Unit for five weeks after delivery.
Five years later, Marlee stated that Ari has had reconstructive surgeries and other procedures, totaling over 52 surgeries since birth. Nine of these surgeries have taken place in the last seven months. Having double sets of organs, this family and doctors have had their work cut out for them. This is a continued process as Ari continues to develop and grow.
The on air staff interviewing Marlee stated “watching her run/ride around the lobby here, you can’t even tell anything is wrong with her!” Marlee replied that “she’s just so positive and strong”.
They asked Marlee how she handles these challenges. Marley stated: “It’s not easy. I’ve kind of gotten the attitude to just deal with it, but sometimes it gets so tiring…it gets difficult. She’s only five years old, but she’s so strong..so happy. She’s honestly the thing that keeps me going”.
Marlee told the interviewers that “The staff makes me feel so ‘okay’ with everything..make me so comfortable with everything before I leave to go home. She (Ari) loves them there. They all know her by first name! Emergency rooms try to sugarcoat things, but Children’s tells it like it is. Don’t lie to her. She can see through that. Tell us the truth and we’ll deal with it.