March 9, 2016

Champion Child Cohyn Wells Meets 170 Other Champions in Orlando

Five thousand kilometers is a long way to go for a nine-year-old fresh out of the hospital, but the long journey didn’t hold back Cohyn Wells, Saskatchewan’s Champion Child presented by Walmart. The Moose Jaw boy and his family traveled to both Toronto and Orlando to meet 170 other Champions from across North America during the annual Children’s Miracle Network Ambassador Tour from February 22-26.

Champions from across Canada first gathered in Toronto, thanks to travel sponsor Air Canada Foundation, where Cohyn and his family visited the CN Tour, took in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and toured Ripley’s Aquarium.  The Canadian Champions were also treated to a special lunch on the 54th floor of the TD Building, thanks to TD Bank Group.

“The most fun thing was meeting all of the other Champion Ambassadors from across Canada. It was great because you got to learn about their story and what they’ve been though,” says Cohyn, who had his 15th surgery in Saskatoon in late January. “It’s nice to know that you’re not alone.”

Before heading to Orlando, Champions joined Children’s Miracle Network Canadian supporters and partners to share their stories and highlight how donations to their local children’s hospital foundation help kids like them receive the best care possible. Champion Ambassadors from each province and state met in Orlando for the final leg of their tour where the children were greeted at a special welcome reception put on by cast members at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort complete with Disney-themed snacks, games and fun. Champions had a chance to mix and mingle at an opening “pin ceremony” where they met corporate partners from across North America who raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network every year. The young Ambassadors also toured DisneyWorld, attended a private meet and greet with Mickey and friends, and met with Miss America, actor/singer Nick Cannon and Teen Ambassador Allie Simpson.

Champion Moms had a chance to spend an afternoon getting pampered in the Chico’s Gifting Suite where they were treated to makeovers and goodies. Dads, meanwhile, had a chance for a little R & R, food, drink, and tools thanks to Ace Hardware.  Cohyn also connected with Saskatchewan gamer Nolan Blackstock at Extra Life United for a special game session at the North America-wide event. Champions were presented with medals in a meaningful ceremony that wrapped up the five fun-filled days.

“My favourite part of the trip was being in DisneyWorld with my family and going on all the rides,” says Cohyn, who was born with spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and Chiari II malformation, which is a structural defect in the brain that controls balance. “I felt like a celebrity all week, it was just so much fun!”

Watch Cohyn’s story here

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