Press Release
February 5, 2021

 

Jacksonville, Florida, February 3, 2021 – Hundreds of families and supporters nationwide participated in the 12th annualWolfson Children’s Challenge: Virtual Edition, celebrating former patients of Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville and raising funds for lifesaving care. Wolfson Children’s is the region’s only not-for-profit children’s hospital, serving children of all ages. No child is ever turned away due to inability to pay.

The first-ever virtual format allowed the iconic Jacksonville event to expand beyond Northeast Florida borders and encourage participants in communities across the country to recruit their families and friends to get active and fundraise.

The virtual event expanded beyond North Florida/South Georgia borders to reach hundreds of participants across the country.

Children and families of all ages, fitness levels and abilities participated in the month-long challenge via the Wolfson55 mobile app. The innovative event experience allowed users access to virtual challenges, features to monitor their physical activity, tools to track individual and team fundraising progress, and a virtual closing ceremony celebration. While the races were not timed this year, fitness-minded participants had the opportunity to log their miles and minutes for the various activity challenges.

The event’s inclusive and accessible activity challenges included a 20K individual walk/run and a 200K team walk/run. Participants also had the unique opportunity to put their own creative mark on fundraising with weekly social and compassion challenges such as notes of encouragement, game nights, animal-inspired workouts and more.

Almost 400 children and families from across 15 states participated in this year’s challenge, logging 1,532.83 kilometers of physical activity on the Wolfson55 app in January. Together, participants and supporters raised more than $96,000 to help fund the purchase of life-saving trauma equipment and technology for our most critical patients at Wolfson Children’s.

The Wolfson Children’s Challenge honors 55 children each year, representing the wide range of services Wolfson Children’s Hospital offers to children of North Florida, South Georgia and beyond. Each of the honorees and their families were recognized leading up to and throughout the event, as well as during the virtual closing ceremony on January 30, 2021.

“Each year, the Wolfson Children’s Challenge brings together hundreds of supporters to help turn miles into miracles for our children who need it most,” said Michael D. Aubin, FACHE, president of Wolfson Children’s Hospital. “Despite being virtual in order to keep everyone safe, this year’s challenge was just as powerful, even though individuals and families supported us from a distance. We are grateful for the generosity of our region and everyone who participated, as it ensures we can continue providing the best care for our children for years to come.”

To date, the Wolfson Children’s Challenge has raised more than $4 million for the Wolfson Children’s Challenge Endowment, helping fund the purchase of life-saving equipment and technology for our patients who need it most. This year, the endowment will focus on the development of an MIBG therapy room on the oncology floor of Wolfson Children’s Hospital. As the first of its kind in Florida, the new room will give Wolfson Children’s the ability to offer the newest upfront treatment for children with high-risk neuroblastoma, the most common solid tumor of childhood cancer.

MIBG therapy is a form of radiation therapy that must be administered to pediatric patients in a special room designed to protect staff, patients and families in surrounding rooms from radiation. During the treatment, patients must be kept isolated in the specialized room for three to seven days to prevent radiation exposure to other patients and staff. The Wolfson Children’s Hospital room that is being converted for this purpose already has a separate, adjoining living space to accommodate parents and families. Voice and video communication equipment will be installed in the rooms, allowing families and patients to remain connected.

Services provided at Wolfson Children’s Hospital are provided primarily by pediatric physician specialists with Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (for cardiac surgery services) and Emergency Resources Group.

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Wolfson Children’s Hospital relies on the generosity of members of our community. To support Wolfson Children’s Hospital, please visit wolfsonchildrens.com.

About Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville
Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, is a part of Baptist Health, Northeast Florida’s most comprehensive health system serving every stage of life. Wolfson Children’s is the only children’s hospital in Northeast Florida and serves as the pediatric referral center for North Florida, South Georgia and beyond. Staffed 24/7 by pediatric nurses and other healthcare professionals specially trained to work with children, the 216-bed, patient- and family-centered hospital features the latest pediatric medical technology in a welcoming, child-friendly environment. At Wolfson Children’s, nationally recognized pediatric specialists representing nearly every medical and surgical specialty work with pediatricians to provide care for children of all ages with congenital heart conditions, cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and endocrinology disorders, orthopaedic conditions, behavioral health conditions, traumatic injuries, and more. Wolfson Children’s pediatric institutional partners include Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the University of Florida College of Medicine—Jacksonville and  Mayo Clinic Florida. A Magnet™-designated hospital since 2010, Wolfson Children’s Hospital has been named among the U.S. News & World Report 50 Best Children’s Hospitals year after year, and in 2019, was selected as one of only 10 children’s hospitals in the country as a Leapfrog Top Children’s Hospital, a recognition of patient quality and safety. For additional information, please visit wolfsonchildrens.com.

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