By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Retail | Issue: June 2011
Walmart associates Alice Brown and Adam Dwyer have more in common than they first realized.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals serve 17 million children and their families each year. Walmart Store #3295 on South Elm Place in Broken Arrow is right in the thick of helping. Walmart associate Alice Brown was invited to attend a luncheon and tour of The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis in Tulsa, and nearly fell over when she saw a photo of a fellow associate on a wall with other children helped by The Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Alice hurried back to the store and asked Adam Dwyer if it was something he would like to talk about. The rest is history. Sam Walton shook hands years ago with the founder of The Children’s Hospital Foundation and promised his support.
The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis is a 162-bed, state-of-the-art facility dedicated to serving pediatric patients with healthcare needs throughout Oklahoma and surrounding states. The hospital was designed with child and family in mind, providing a family-centered care setting with services that range from general inpatient care to neonatal and pediatric intensive care. Pediatricians and pediatric sub-specialists throughout the area supply comprehensive medical care of the highest quality through a broad range of inpatient and outpatient services.
Alice and associates of Walmart Store #3295 are participating in Associates Saving Kids (A.S.K.). Patrons are given a chance at checkout to join with Walmart in supporting the cause. “No child is turned away from receiving care at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis,” says Alice. “Every dollar we raise with A.S.K. stays in this market and makes a huge difference in the lives of the kids treated at The Children’s Hospital.” The 2011 fundraising campaign runs through June 13. The store’s goal is to raise $10,000 through donations.
Adam’s story is remarkable. At birth, he weighed only one pound, eight ounces. He was premature at 25 weeks, and his parents were informed that his odds of living were poor. If he should survive, they were told that Adam would be blind, deaf, mute and physically disabled.
After 102 days with an incredible determination to survive, Adam went home with his parents on the day he was scheduled to be born. He will be 23 this year. “My motor skills are less than average,” says Adam, “but it’s all relative.” His eyesight is not perfect, but it has not slowed him down. Adam was reading on a twelfth grade level when he was in fourth grade, and even after 21 related surgeries, he has earned associate’s degrees in Spanish and music. His voice has “perfect pitch” and others singing off key tend to “drive him a little crazy.”
Adam is gifted and has a very quick mind. At the age of four he started school. He was a member of the Tulsa Boy Singers and his church choir. In the second grade, Adam was placed in advanced classes, and he is currently authoring his second book.
It is a delight to visit with this remarkable young man, who currently attends NSU and hopes to earn his degree in criminal justice with a minor in Spanish. Adam’s desire is to become a court interpreter.
Adam is a member of the Church at Battle Creek and is proud to say, “The night I was born, my father accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.” When you’re at the Walmart on South Elm, look for Adam at checkout. And if you want to help others like Adam who were born with serious health challenges, dig into your pockets for a dollar or two and help Walmart associates reach their fundraising goal to help others.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.