Wednesday, 25 September 2013 13:45

Champion Child from Swift Current to represent sick children across Saskatchewan

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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Nine-year-old Amisha Hockridge of Swift Current has an important message of courage and determination to share over the next year.


She has been selected to be the 2013 Champion Child of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan and is looking forward to her role as ambassador for the charity organization.
“I’ve been through a lot and I really feel good to be chosen,” she said.
She has already made a number of speeches, including a presentation during the official announcement of the new Champion Child at the Swift Current Walmart on Sept. 5.
“I’m not really nervous because I like to go out there and present my story and tell kids that you’re not the only one that has a medical problem,” she said.
She has a rare condition called microtia, which is a congenital ear deformity, but each case is different. Amisha was born without an outer and middle right ear, her head was deformed, she had a tethered spinal cord and one kidney was only performing at 30 per cent capacity.
According to her parents Mike and Veena Hockridge, who have started a Microtia parent support website, it is a condition that affects one in every 10,000 children. Amisha is one of every 8,000 children born with more serious complications.
She has received reconstructive ear and spinal surgeries, her kidneys are monitored on an ongoing basis and she still has two major surgeries coming up. Despite these challenges she has an active lifestyle.
She used to swim, but has developed an interest in dancing. She has joined a local dance school where she is attending tap, hip-hop and other dance classes. She and her 12-year-old brother Krishin are enthusiastic soap box racers and the family is closely involved with the Swift Current Soap Box Racing Association.
No one is happier about Amisha’s new role as Champion Child than Krishin, who is close to his sister. He will always comfort her when she needs to go for surgery and he is usually one of the first people she will see when she gets out of the recovery room.
“I’m excited and proud of her,” he said.
The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan is a member of the Children’s Miracle Network, which identifies a child with a remarkable medical story in each province to serve as an annual ambassador.
Amisha’s duties during the year will include a number of public appearances at venues around Saskatchewan. In October she and her family will attend the Children’s Miracle Network festivities in Toronto and then they will attend an event with Champions from across North America at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Her term as Champion Child will include the groundbreaking ceremony in 2014 for the start of construction of the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.
So far many of her hospital visits have been to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. Mike and Veena’s experience during these visits have been positive and they are excited about the prospect of a children’s hospital for Saskatchewan.
“The feeling from the time that you come in to meet the doctors to the time that you leave just feels different than a normal hospital,” Mike said. “Though we’ve met many great doctors in lots of places, the doctors in Children’s Hospital are geared for children.”
The year ahead as ambassador for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan will produce many highlights for Amisha and her family, but her main goal is to tell her story to other children and to share an important message.
“That they must be strong, and that they are not the only ones out there,” she said.
To visit the family's Microtia support website, go to http://microtiasupport.com.

Read 37206 times Last modified on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 13:42