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Thank you to our 2020 CMN Champion Lily!

Lily, age 8, was Yakima Valley Memorial’s amazing Children Miracle Network’s Champion for 2020! Born 3 weeks early and diagnosed with Down syndrome at Yakima Valley Memorial’s NICU. 
At Yakima Valley Memorial, we are so grateful to the Baker family for sharing their vivacious Lily with us! We have learned that Lily loves singing and dancing, especially to Baby Shark, and she LOVES her brother something fierce. Being around Lily is such a joy!  They call Children’s Village “their Village”.  Lily’s has utilized cardiology services, speech and physical therapy at Children’s Village.  Lily’s mom Kelly, tell’s us their families story:

A Life Unplanned                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              “I used to pride myself on being a detailed planner. But as life seems to do, with all of its twists and turns, I couldn’t plan for what 2012 would bring.  My name is Kelly Baker. My son, Riley, is 11 years old and he just happens to have freckles. My daughter, Lily, is 5 years old and she just happens to have Down syndrome.

Just 5 weeks before my due date, my husband, JB, was diagnosed with stage 3 tongue cancer. He didn’t use any tobacco products and wasn’t a heavy drinker. After JB had two major surgeries to remove parts of his tongue and some lymph nodes, we came home to await Lily’s birth.  Our precious and beautiful little being came into this world three weeks early; the most beautiful baby I had ever seen! She looked just like my son and I was overjoyed! JB made it in the room just minutes before she was born. Later that night, a nurse said that Lily was having problems and that she was going to take her down to the NICU for just a bit. A few hours later, the doctor came in my room carrying a box of tissues. She said, “I need to do some additional blood tests, but I believe your daughter has Down syndrome.”

Children’s Village Steps in                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I didn’t know what to do. I was so lost. Me… the person who plans EVERYTHING… could not have planned for this. Children’s Village has been a huge part of helping me navigate this life. They helped me keep appointments straight. The physical therapist would come to our home and encourage us, saying that Lily would do everything a typical child does but just on “Lily time”. The cardiologist put our minds at ease when Lily’s heart was tested. Children’s Village is not just a building. It is a community. It is MY community. It is my safe place when I am scared or need encouragement. We are so very lucky to have Children’s Village in Yakima.

Sadly, my husband passed away in 2014 – Riley was 8 years old and Lily was just 2. We are so lucky that he was able to spend those precious years with our children. I am so grateful for every moment we had together.

Unplanned brings perfection                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So… this life that I didn’t plan has been such a rewarding experience so far. I am raising a handsome, smart, talented 15-year old who is kind to his very core, and wise beyond his years. And I’m also raising a gentle, PERFECT little girl who just happened to have 3 copies of her 21st chromosome; she loves animals of all kinds, playing outside with her friends, swinging… “BY MYSELF MOMMY!!!” Some say Lily is different, I would have to agree… she IS different. But so is everyone else. She just has a diagnosis for it. And I learned THAT from MY Village.””