Sanford Children’s Hosts Marathon for Kids With Special Health Needs
Kids got to do a variety of activities in a relaxed environment
FARGO, N.D. — Sanford Children’s Medical Home put on the first annual marathon event for kids with special health needs.
About 60 kids, along with their siblings and parents, gathered in the Fargodome to have a fun time in a low–stress, relaxed environment.
“We wanted something fun, something they could choose, bubbles or dancing, make it fun for them, ultimately pick what they want to do and what comfort level they’re in,” Kellee Lenoue, a social worker with the Medical Home, said.
Kids also got to play with Sanford Children’s mascot, Alfunz, who got his name from the phrase “all fun from A to Z.”
One parent, whose son has spina bifida, says she’s glad there’s a place where the whole family can have fun.
“I think there’s a lot of events that are similar to this for typically abled children, but it’s hard for our kids to participate. It’s really nice for us to be able to go somewhere and where it’s easy to get in, they kind of understand our situation a little bit, and we can all participate as a family,” Allison Burgraff said.
She says her advice for other parents with kids who have special health needs is to remember they’re never alone.
“We really all become like family as special needs parents. Just get connected to other parents. You might meet somebody with a different diagnosis, but we all have so much in common and you really do become like family,” she said.
Organizers want kids to remember that they’re special and important.
“They are very awesome. We love being able to show how great they are,” Lenoue said.
Sanford Children’s Medical Home is designed to make coordinating care for kids with special health needs easier by tracking all providers in one plan.