Onalaska first grader Olivia Vogler left on a big journey Friday and her classmates sent her off with lots of well wishes.
Olivia was named one of this year's Children's Miracle Network Hospital champions.
She was born partially blind and has gone through multiple surgeries. As part of her duties as champion, Olivia will be heading to Washington D.C. this weekend.
She will be acting as the state's ambassador raising awareness about the work hospitals, like Gundersen Health system, do for children.
While on the trip she will go to Disney World, as well. Olivia said she's pretty excited about meeting some pretty big names.
“I'm meeting Mickey and Mini and meeting the President, I mean President Obama's wife.”
PREVIOUS STORY (May 15, 2014):
Six-year-old Olivia Vogler from Onalaska has been named the Wisconsin’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion for 2014.
One child from each state is honored each year as part of the Children’s Miracle Hospitals Champion Program. The Program raises awareness about the important work of member hospitals like Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.
Olivia struggles with significant impairment due to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), or as Olivia tells people, “what is special about me is that I can’t see very well.”
“Olivia was in Gundersen’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 80 days,” Olivia’s mom Andrea said in a statement. “It was 80 days of monitors, surgeries, blood transfusions and praying she wouldn’t stop breathing or her heart wouldn’t stop beating.”
Olivia had five eye surgeries and six years of follow-up appointments with specialists. Now she and her parents donate their time and money to speak at fundraisers to help other families who have children with special needs.