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How Your Dollars Make Miracles 

The Pediatrics Department at the University of Kansas Medical Center is proud to be the local CMN Hospital in the Greater Kansas City area. The funds raised through CMN events go directly to fund pediatric research initiatives taking place exclusively at KU Medical Center. In addition, funds help sick and injured children being treated at the University of Kansas Health System. These dollars are used to pay for charitable care, equipment, supplies and educational programs

Ringing in 2024, with a CMN Champion encore...Lincoln! 

We are thrilled to share that Lincoln Costello will continue his role as our Kansas City Market Champion this year. Although this is not a customary practice, Lincoln is starting to find his own voice when it comes to sharing his medical journey at KU Medical Center in a very real, funny, and uniquely “Lincoln” way, we could not let him go just yet. He still has so much more to share and that is exiting for all of us.

Lincoln was a patient of the University of Kansas Medical Center even before he came into this world. He was born happy and healthy. At the age of two, Lincoln was tested for an expressive language delay. While these initial therapies helped, his parents knew this did not fully explain what was going on with Lincoln. At that point, they brought him to the Center for Childhood Development at KU Medical Center where he was diagnosed with autism. With his therapy team at the Bridge Clinic, Lincoln became more verbally and socially interactive. They even helped him work through the process of getting his hair cut, which was an enormous obstacle for him over the years. Through hours and hours of hard work, Lincoln has become a fun and articulate boy who is obsessed with video games, always has something interesting to say and a great sense of humor. You cannot help but smile being around him!

It’s going to be another great year having Lincoln and his family representing CMN!

A Warm Welcome to Lexi Beaman, Child Life Specialist

We are excited to introduce you to Lexi Beaman, the new Child Life Specialist for the University of Kansas Health System. Lexi’s role is to help infants, children, youth, and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of acute and chronic illness, injury, trauma, disability, loss, and bereavement. Lexi is there to help make the hospital less scary for kids and their families through therapeutic play, education to reduce fear, pain, and anxiety and interventions to help patients prepare for procedures.

Children’s Miracle Network has helped to fund a variety of Child Life initiatives throughout the years, like distraction toys, video games, a treasure tower, and supplies to make holidays and birthdays extra special for kids on the pediatric unit. We are excited to partner with Lexi and help with her Child Life program goals of normalizing the hospital environment for patients and families and finding new ways to bring joy and distraction during stressful times.

Lexi is a recent graduate of Missouri State University.  She knew she wanted to follow this career path at a young age when she saw the impact the Child Life Specialist had on her friend and his family as he underwent many surgeries for a heart condition. She finds her job most rewarding when a patient is finally able to positively cope with routine procedures that were once difficult. We know patients and families will love having Lexi in their corner.

A new resident to Kansas City, Lexi loves that there is always something to do here and of course, the Chiefs are an added bonus! When she isn’t working, she enjoys going to concerts, reading and traveling.

 Welcome Lexi!

CMN Staff Helps Rejuvenate & Regroup at Marillac Campus

Doctors, nurses and every other member of a child’s medical care team are the people families turn to for answers and that extra special care when their loved one needs treatment.  That is especially true when a child is spending time at Marillac, the University of Kansas Health System’s pediatric inpatient mental health hospital. 

Kids ages 4-18 who are in mental health crisis are admitted to Marillac seeking the treatment they need to work through the crisis situation they are in so they can transition to outpatient care.  Sometimes these situations are not just emotionally difficult for the child, they are also difficult for the people who are helping the child. 

For this reason, Children’s Miracle Network is proud to provide a Staff Rejuvenation Room on the Marillac Campus.  This space is a quiet, tranquil place for staff to go, enjoy a massage in the massage chair, listen to some soothing music or just take a few minutes for themselves to regroup and have a cup of coffee. 

“The rejuvenation room has been so loved by our Marillac staff,” said Ashley Dugan, Director of Mental and Behavioral Health for the University of Kansas Health System. “It has created a place for them to relax and recenter themselves as they provide care to some of our most vulnerable patients. It allows them a place to ensure their cup is filled so they can continue to pour love and compassion into our kiddos! We are beyond thankful to Children’s Miracle Network for providing this space for us and special thanks also to Kellie Heckerson, our unit secretary, who has been instrumental in making sure this space is one our staff love to visit!” 

Talking Through Technology

In 2023, the Children’s Miracle Network program funded the new Augmentative and Alternative Communication Lab, referred to as the AAC Lab, at the KU Medical Center campus.  The mission of the AAC Lab is to provide solutions to children who have complex communication needs.

Susan Koerner, Speech & Language Pathologist and Director of the AAC Lab, shares that the goal of the lab is for every person to gain the tools they need to be able to communicate. For patients who may be non-verbal, have neurological disorders or a brain injury, communication technology in the AAC Lab can help make communication for them a reality.

The lab is composed of low-tech devices, such as signs where children are able to point to written phrases or photos to communicate, and high-tech options, such as tablets that let you write messages using your eyes. Programs like these are often costly and through the help of Children’s Miracle Network, KU Medical Center is now able to provide this service so that families are exposed to and can determine the best kind of devices they need.

For families whose child faces communication issues, the AAC Lab can be lifechanging.  Just recently, the very first “Talker Day Party” was held, to celebrate the first device that was funded for a child through CMN. On these special days, Koerner and other Speech-Language Pathologists wrap up the child’s new communication device in wrapping paper, wear party hats, and sing “Happy Talker Day to You”.  “We try to make the moment as big as possible, because oftentimes, families go through so much to get to this moment. For this family in particular, they had received a denial from insurance for an AAC device, so mom had felt hopeless. Here smile was so big and there were a few tears in the room on the day of the talker day party for her son. That moment that wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of Children’s Miracle Network.”

Children’s Miracle Network is thankful to be a part of this new and innovative service and solution that KUMC is able to provide for its patients.  It is through the support of our fundraising partners that we can fund the addition of new services like this one.

New CMN Partner!

We are thrilled to announce InComm as the newest corporate fundraising partner of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals! For each gift card sold at a special website, InComm will donate 3% of all gift cards purchased to the local member Children’s Miracle Network hospital. That means that gift cards purchased in the Kansas City metro area will support the CMN program at KU Medical Center! Gift cards are available for many popular brands, including Target, Ulta, Starbucks, Walmart, Visa, and more!

For your next special occasion,  consider purchasing gift cards for those in your life through the website, and make miracles for them and kids treated in the hospital this year!  Visit to place your order.

Fundraising Corner

November & December were busy with campaigns at Ace Hardware, Valvoline Instant Oil Change and 7-Eleven locations throughout the KC Heartland!  Each of these partners were collecting donations from their customers when they checked out.  Whether they made a $20 donation or opted to round-up, these customers are helping CMN Partners make a BIG impact for local kids!

This year, Twitch streamers, board game enthusiasts, video game players, and gamers of all kinds banded together on November 5th for Extra Life Game Day, a day in which gamers play for 24 hours, while fundraising on their streams and social media for their local hospital. In this one weekend, gamers raised over $13,000 for KU Medical Center! Many congrats go to our incredible Extra Lifers for making Game Day weekend a success!

The 2023 Miracle Day of Hope Radiothon was a remarkable success raising $88,451.  Many thanks to every listener that called in and generously gave. The KC community showed the true spirit of the holiday season. Heartfelt thanks to the team at Cumulus Media for their hard work and passion in making this event special each year.

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Children's Miracle Network KC Heartland

Children’s Miracle Network KC Heartland
P.O. Box 3245
Kansas City, KS 66103
Phone: 913-588-9100
Fax: 913-588-9101