After son was saved, family has committed to help other children for past 11 years

After son was saved, family has committed to help other children for past 11 years

On Oct. 1, Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital kicks off 25 Days of Hope in honor of the 25th annual Hopebuilders 5K. The hospital’s signature fundraising event, sponsored by Barings, typically draws north of 1,200 participants who gather to run or walk together in support of Levine Children’s Hospital.

“Our oldest son, Oliver spent the first 2 months of his life in the NICU at Levine due to his Hirschsprung’s Disease,” said Laura Taylor, Oliver’s mom. “He has had to go back several times over the course of his life for various surgeries and complications. The doctors, nurses, and staff were amazing and this is just one small way that we can give back to the hospital that saved our son several times.”

Oliver Taylor
Oliver Taylor
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Levine Children’s Hospital undoubtedly has a special place in the heart of the Taylor family.

“This is our 11th year of participating. We started the first year after he was born and our goals are fundraising, community awareness and to continue this family tradition to show our children how we value supporting worthy causes in our city,” Taylor said.

Given the current pandemic, the fundraiser will feature a different format this year.

“Although we can’t gather in person this year, we certainly want to celebrate the hope that this event continues to bring to our patients and families at Levine Children’s,” said Dr. Stacy Nicholson, president of Levine Children’s. “This truly a community event, made possible by the generosity of our longtime sponsors like Barings and WSOC, to the runners, teams, patients, and caregivers who all dedicate their time to building hope for our hospital.”

The Hopebuilders 5K was founded by two local families whose children were both battling cancer and had to seek medical care outside of Charlotte.

Each day leading up to Oct. 25, the hospital – via social media – will share stories of hope from grateful patient families, community advocates and even from healthcare heroes serving on the front lines of Levine Children’s Hospital. The final week, participants are encouraged to safely run or walk in their neighborhoods and complete the distance of a 5K.

“The morning of the 5k is always exciting. Of course this year we are having to switch it up so we have a found a trail that hopefully won’t be too crowded and our family is going to have some coffee and donuts to power up and then hit the trail,” Taylor said.

Levine Children’s Hospital has grown to provide the care patients need right here in our community and, for the 13th consecutive year, has been recognized as a best children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report. Hopebuilders has played a role in this success, raising over $2 million for Levine Children’s.

“We hope the community will join us in making this another successful year for Hopebuilders,” said Callie Dobbins, vice president and facility executive for Levine Children’s. “And we hope you’ll share in the celebrations of our patients who are completing final chemo treatments; receiving lifesaving heart care; learning to walk again after a traumatic injury; living with kidney disease, and so much more. These are stories of resilience that inspire us all.”

For event registration details, visit hopebuilders5k.org.

Participants will receive event shirts and bibs in the mail, and top fundraisers will have the opportunity to receive signed Carolina Panthers items.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.