Getting Involved with a Great Foundation for Children’s Health
Emma, Dr. Whyte’s nine-year-old daughter, began taking dance lessons when she was just two years old. It wasn’t long after that before she was taking dance lessons four days a week.
Before the family knew it, she was taking ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, musical theater, and, according to Dr. Whyte: “anything and everything we let her take.”
Emma dreamed of becoming a dance teacher herself and even owning her own studio.
Unfortunately, those dreams went on temporary hiatus when, two years ago, Emma suddenly started feeling serious stomach pains – serious enough that she wound up in the local emergency room.
It was there that they diagnosed an unknown birth defect that was impacting her kidneys.
She was examined by Dr. Anthony Herndon, the Co-Surgeon-in-Chief, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR), and eventually received her first surgery in December 2016, with follow-ups in the spring of 2017 and 2018.
“It was a scary time,” Michael recalled, “but we had clear information and knew Emma would be ok. Being at Children’s Hospital was an incredible experience. Everyone there is so geared toward kids.”
Getting Involved to Give Back
The Children’s Hospital of Richmond holds a wide range of events throughout the year so others can get involved and help support such an important service in the community.
This last February, for example, included an event that was right up our alley.
Jessica Morgan, Emma’s first dance teacher, was the organizer of this year’s Virginia Dance Festival.
We saw this as a great community event that combined Emma’s love of dance with a benefit for Children’s Hospital Foundation. It was held on February 24th and James River High School. More than 400 dancers from 43 different dance companies showed up and showed off their talents, performing traditional and cultural dances.
Even though Emma wasn’t able to dance at this year’s event (needless to say she’s really looking forward to it in the future), they definitely wanted to be involved in some way.
Dr. Whyte signed on as a gold sponsor this year and was excited to be part of such a worthwhile (and successful) event. This year, they raised a total of $14,000, and this annual event has raised more than $228,500 over the 19 years they’ve been running it.
Getting to Know Children’s Hospital Foundation
The Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VC provides care for more than 60,000 children and families in a single year. If you want to look at those numbers another way, that works out to more than 1 in every 8 children at some time in the last year required care at CHoR.
Children’s Hospital Foundation has been around for more than 95 years, funding and advocating projects that improve the quality of health care for children in Central Virginia. Since 2010, the Foundation has paid or pledged $74 million to support the only full-service children’s hospital in the region.
At Parham Dental, we’re grateful that we had an opportunity to participate in such a worthy cause.
What Did Emma Have to Say?
Emma may not have been able to dance at this year’s event, but she did get a chance to address the crowd. “I feel like it’s very important to raise money for the Children’s Hospital,” she said, “because not only does it show them that we’re grateful for what they do, it gives them money to help save the lives of more kids like me and get us back to doing what we love to do—like dancing.”
“Dancing is a time I see Emma shine,” Dr. Whyte said. “We’re grateful the doctors at CHoR have made it possible for her to be able to dance again.”
Be sure to check out their website if you’d also like to get involved.