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GIANT Food Stores’ celebrates CMN Hospitals’ patients this summer

GIANT Food Stores wrapped up its annual summer fundraising campaign for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals with a special golf weekend, where a number of very special guests were in attendance to celebrate their achievements.

Ten pediatric patients and families who receive treatment at Penn State Children’s Hospital, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The Janet Weis Children’s Hospital at Geisinger, Children’s National Medical Center, University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital and Johns Hopkins Children’s Center gathered in Hershey, PA to celebrate the success of the campaign and participate in a celebrity putting contest and a superhero-themed awards banquet.

The 20th anniversary of the GIANT Celebrity Putting Contest paired these special miracle children with locally renowned media personalities and celebrities for a round of miniature golf. At the end of the event, GIANT announced that they had raising $710,634 for the hospitals during the campaign that ran from June 23 through July 6.

An evening awards banquet highlighted each of the GIANT Miracle Kids with their treatment stories, comic book superhero caricatures and custom-designed capes.

The children were introduced by another CMN Hospitals Miracle Kid, Christian Guardino, who was a semi-finalist on Season 12 of America’s Got Talent and was also treated at his local children’s hospital. He performed his newest song, Waiting.

Christian was born with an inherited eye disease with no treatment or cure that caused him to see only bright light and blurry shapes. He would eventually lose all sight. When Christian was 13 he entered a clinical therapy gene trial at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Since his participation in the trial, he has seen a 75- to 80-percent improvement in his vision. The gene trial was successful for Christian and many others and after Christian and his mom, Beth, testified before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, they approved the gene therapy for use in patients in December 2017.

GIANT Food Stores has more than 170 stores serving families in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and has has donated more than $44 million to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in those areas over the past 23 years.