March for Pediatric Care

March 6, 2018

Written by our COO Brittany Graunke.

Photo at Ann & Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

I’m mom to two amazing children. Over the last 4.5 years, I’ve changed thousands of diapers and washed hundreds of loads of baby clothes. I’ve read more books than I did in the prior 20 years of my life, sung songs, and tickled little bellies. I’ve also kissed many scrapes and bruises, taken temperatures, & slept on floors alongside my kids when they are sick and can’t sleep.

As a parent, your largest wish for your child is to be healthy, and in the times they aren’t, it’s not only difficult to witness them experience it, it’s also difficult to bear yourself. With my daughter, we realized when she was two that her breathing wasn’t normal. Every cold became something far worse & every cough was painful to hear. Through several specialist appointments, we learned that she has childhood asthma. Since then, she has been dependent on daily inhalers to help her breath normally.

In December of 2016, we were just getting used to her asthma diagnosis (and a new baby in the house) when she caught a cold. This cold seemed far worse than anything she’d had before and it quickly escalated into something concerning. She was wheezing and her ribs protruded from her chest with every breath she took. We went into the doctor only to learn that her oxygen levels were far lower than they safely can be and that she was struggling to breathe.

So, we were sent to the Emergency Room at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.


 From the fish tank and large scale aquarium scene in the waiting room, I knew Lurie Children’s was special. If I had to be in an emergency room with my 3 year old and 4 month old, I wanted it to be this one. When my daughter was admitted, we learned she had pneumonia and would need to be treated.

At Lurie Children’s, they have a family-centered approach to care that feels as though every part of the hospital was designed to check boxes off a child’s wishlist. Someone came and blew bubbles as my daughter’s IV was put in her arm. The X-Ray room was transformed through painted walls into a beach destination complete with a ceiling of twinkling lights. There were endless crayons and coloring sheets, and a TV full of all kid movies. No parent wants to be in a hospital with their child, but Lurie Children’s made every effort to make this stay positive and even a little magical.

Lurie Children’s creates this magic every day for countless families and children. As a Chicago resident, I feel fortunate that my local pediatric hospital is not only nationally ranked with top notch research, technology, and staff, but also designed with my children in mind. Lurie Children’s passion for kids comes through in all that they do, and I’m honored that they are this month’s Flowers for Dreams charity partner.

Learn more about the transformative work of our March charities Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago at and Make-A-Wish Wisconsin at

Photo in collaboration with Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago