12 Days of Giving: Staff at Children’s Hospital inspires patient’s future


The General Pediatric Unit at Children’s Hospital of Illinois treated 3,753 patients last year. But to those who work there, every number represents a precious life they work to save.

Cecilia Padilla is one of them. She loves music, theatre, and horseback riding. She’s a typical 11-year-old, but she’s also a fighter and survivor, who doesn’t let a list of diagnoses get in her way. Cecilia has Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus, Arno Chiari Malformation, as well as nerve and muscle damage. 

“I just really don’t care that I have it,” says Cecilia.

Cecilia receives all the support, help, and hope she needs from her mom and the team at Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

“Every time we’re there, the nurses make her feel special,” says Cecilia’s mother, Alexis Gluck. “The techs that are there are in there to make sure she’s comfortable. Child Life is wonderful in keeping her busy and occupied and keeping her mind off the bad things so that she can heal. Children’s Hospital just means the world to us.”

The care Cecilia receives not only impacts her life now, but has helped form the pathway to her future. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

“I’ve been around a lot of doctors and I want to be like a kid doctor to take care of kids,” says Cecilia. 

Gluck adds, “That’s one thing that I just admire about her so much is that no matter what, she never lets anybody tell her that she can’t do something she wants to do.”

The care Cecilia receives wouldn’t be possible without generous donations from people in the community. Children’s Hospital of Illinois’ annual Radiothon is coming up December 8th and 9th. John Riley from 93.3 The Drive will broadcast from the Children’s Hospital live from 6:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. those days. You can make a contribution in-person or over the phone by calling (309) 624-GIVE. All proceeds are used to serve the needs of pediatric patients.

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