Hey y’all! My name is Victoria LaRen and I am 15 years old. I have a stomach malrotation. A malrotation happens between the 4th and 12thweek of fetal life and is when rotation and fixation occurs. For me, my artery (SMA) and my main vein (SMV) are on opposite sides of my stomach. I ended up not having surgery for this, but I was not supposed to make it through my illness. I am sharing my story with you today because my dream is coming true. I am the 2012 Vermont Children’s Miracle Network Champion.
The University of Vermont Children’s Hospital has to be one of my favorite places to be because everyone there is so kind. Not everyone knows each other, but whether or not people there know you, they still treat you with the utmost respect and always know how to make you laugh. They have the best staff, not only are they your doctors and nurses, but your friends also. They want what is best for you and want to see you happy and healthy.
I have also been involved with the Big Change Roundup for seven years now. The way I see it, Big Change Roundup is my opportunity to give back to the people who helped me, and country is my favorite kind of music so that is always a plus. Every year my goal is $100 more than the previous year. For example, my first year I wanted to raise $100, and my second year $200, and so on. Last year my goal was $600 and I ended up raising over $930! My overall goal this year is $1,000. I currently have two businesses and my high school contributing to my effort.
Being champion is literally a dream come true. I am honored that I was chosen to represent Vermont. I won’t let y’all down! No matter what your illness is, I want to let the people who are reading this know that no one is alone. Everyone is different in their own distinct ways, but that just makes us unique, not weird.
What I go by in life is this saying: “Stand up for what’s right and what you believe in, even if you stand alone.” People can look at this statement and think many different things. To me this means do what you feel is right. Be your own example and do not let others tell you who you are or how to live. We are all our own person and can stand up! We all have a voice and need to use it! I would hope if you meet someone who is different, don’t pick on them, but converse with them and let them know that even if you don’t know what they have gone through that you are there for them. All people need is a friend to turn to.
Victoria LaRen is our 2012 Vermont Children’s Miracle Network Champion. To learn more about how to participate in this year’s Big Change Roundup for Kids, which benefits The University of Vermont Children’s Hospital and kids like Victoria, please visit: http://www.bigchangeroundup.org/ or our Facebook event page. This year’s Roundup is taking place through March 12, 2012!