News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, August 5, 2010
AUGUSTA, Ga. --- In the midst of hot summer weather, what sounds better than a nice, cold Blizzard?
What if you could have that Blizzard, and help sick kids at the same time?
Thanks to today's Miracle Treat Day, that became a reality. Dairy Queen restaurants nationwide donated part of the proceeds from all Blizzard sales to the Children's Miracle Network.
Here at home, that means part of your Blizzard purchase goes toward MCG's Children's Medical Center.
For Kaci Johnson and her family, it's a cause that's very close to their hearts.
"Duncan just started not feeling well," Kaci says, remembering her son's illness. "He was having these unexplainable vomiting spells."
Five-year-old Duncan Johnson has had two stays at the CMC: the first soon after he was born, and just last year, he braved a battle with cancer.
"During his treatment, we would be there for 20 to 25 days at a time," she says. "For a three-year-old, to explain why he has to stay within the confines of these four hospital walls was not easy."
That's why the hospital is filled with "safe spaces," or play areas, most of them paid for by donors.
"When they come inside this playroom, they don't get stuck with a needle, they don't get a blood pressure, they don't get their temperature taken," explains MCG's Catherine Stewart, showing off a room filled with toys. "This is their safe place to go and just be a kid."
The hospital is outfitted with a new indoor playground and playrooms, along with a chemotherapy treatment center, still in the works. The center will take the place of the old one, designed to be more appealing to kids.
"The kids called [the old center] the cave," Catherine explains. "It was dark, no windows, it just wasn't a very fun place to be."
But the new center?
"When this clinic is finished, it's going to have natural lighting for kids, they will be able to watch TV, sit in more relaxed chairs. It will be better for kids and their families."
Money from Miracle Treat Day will go toward the new wing, and Kaci knows firsthand what a few dollars can do.
"The CMC is a place we can take our kids for a broken bone, apendectomy, tonsilitis, to cancer," Kaci says. "It meets the needs for all of our kids, for anybody!"
Eight Dairy Queens around the area participated in Miracle Treat Day:
In Augusta: 2837 Central Ave.; 3149 Washington Rd.; 4099 Belair Rd.
In Millen: 1234 U.S. Highway 25 North
In Swainsboro: 391 South Main St.
In Thomson: 1850 Washington Rd.
In Waynesboro: 221 S. Liberty St.
In Louisville: 205 U.S. Highway 1 Bypass
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