Family Has Special Reason to Participate in Stroll for Strong Kids

April 23, 2002

Jennifer and Tim Brush never imagined their first child would need the type of specialized care offered locally only at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong. On July 7, 1999, their daughter, Taylor, was born one month prematurely. The newborn was diagnosed with Down's syndrome, a heart defect, and lung problems.

"Taylor was born at Rochester General Hospital, but was immediately transported to Golisano Children's Hospital," Jennifer says. "When they told us she had to go to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, we knew it was serious."

Although Taylor put up a heroic fight during her six-month stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, she died Jan. 24, 2000. Even during the darkest hours, the Brush family, of Irondequoit, remained thankful to the staff at Golisano Children's Hospital.

"The doctors and nurses were wonderful," Jennifer says. "They were by our side the entire time, informing us of everything that was happening, encouraging us, helping us make the right decisions. They did everything they could do to not only try to save Taylor's life, but to make her as comfortable as possible."

Not long after losing Taylor, the Brush family learned about the annual Stroll for Strong Kids, a two-mile walk through scenic Genesee Valley Park. Proceeds from the event benefit Golisano Children's Hospital. Before the Stroll, which happens each June, participants are asked to collect pledges from friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors - anybody with an interest in improving the lives of children.

Joining with dozens of friends and family members, the Brush family created Team Taylor, which is proudly spelled out on t-shirts they wear to the event. Team Taylor has raised more than $3,500 to benefit Golisano Children's Hospital.

Everyone is invited to participate in this year's Stroll for Strong Kids on Saturday, June 1, at Genesee Valley Park. Children's activities will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. The Stroll starts at 11 a.m. and is followed by a free lunch. Gary the Happy Pirate will provide music. Prizes will be awarded to the top fund-raisers in each age group. Last year, 800 people took part, raising more than $80,000 for Golisano Children's Hospital.

Jennifer and Tim Brush, parents of an 18-month-old daughter named Camryn Taylor, encourage you to consider participating in the Stroll. "We're living proof that you don't think it can happen to you, but it can," Jennifer says. "Knowing Golisano Children's Hospital is there, that we have this resource in our community, is such a comfort."

Sign-in for the Stroll for Strong Kids starts at 9 a.m. and the walk starts at 11 a.m. Pre-registration is required. To register, call 585-273-5948.

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