It took a lot of convincing for seven-year-old Brooke to believe that Santa would know where to find her at the hospital.
When Brooke didn't go into remission after standard chemotherapy for her acute lymphoblastic leukemia as nearly 95 percent of children do, she underwent additional intense therapy, including difficult diagnostic tests and a bone marrow transplant. Even then, her new immune system began attacking her organs, causing a series of complications.
Spending the better part of eight months at Boston Children's Hospital, Brooke and her family faced several major holidays, including Christmas, under constant medical care.
And Brooke is not alone. As parents start gearing up for winter vacations and children eagerly anticipate time off school, one million kids will spend this holiday season in their patient room at at one of 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals is a nonprofit raising funds and awareness for North American children's hospitals. These are hospitals with a massive charitable need -- providing $3.4 billion in charitable care every year -- and a dedication to finding solutions for every health issue imaginable. The hospitals' impact is enormous: One in 10 kids in North America is treated by a Children's Miracle Network Hospital each year, and 62 children enter a Children's Miracle Network Hospital for treatment every minute.
To provide kids with the very best medical treatments, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals rely on the generosity of their communities to make a difference in the lives of local children like Brooke.
Two years after her holiday hospital stay, Brooke is now in remission and back at school. She is working to build her strength so she can play her favorite sport: hockey. As Children's Miracle Network Hospitals' 2013 Massachusetts Champion, she is an ambassador helping people understand why children's hospitals are so important and why they need our help.
Brooke has many kids to represent. Every day during the month of December, member Children's Miracle Network Hospitals will treat an average of 16,000 kids in the emergency room, 2,218 kids for cancer, 2,329 kids requiring surgeries and 925 babies in the newborn ICU. Each hospital's need for support is constant. They are able to provide the best care because of donations.
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals is proudly partnering with Giving Tuesday to encourage the spirit of charitable philanthropy this holiday season, because together, we save kids' lives.
To find out more about Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, please visit the website. This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in celebration of #GivingTuesday, which will take place this year (2013) on December 3. The idea behind #GivingTuesday is to kickoff the holiday-giving season, in the same way that Black Friday and Cyber Monday kickoff the holiday-shopping season. We'll feature at least one post from a #GivingTuesday partner every weekday in November. To see all the posts in the series, click here; follow the conversation via #GivingTuesday and learn more here.
And if you'd like to share your own #GivingTuesday story, please send us your 500-850-word post to email@example.com.