April 6, 2001

Darnell kicks off Children’s Miracle Network campaign

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Katie Darnell was named an ambassador for Vanderbilt Children's Hospital at the Children's Miracle Network kickoff event on Monday. She sang her song "Rescue Me" at the White House on Wednesday. The group will also travel to Disney World for a weekend of fun with other CMN champions. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Darnell kicks off Children’s Miracle Network campaign

Katie Darnell is pictured with John Rich, left, and Big Kenny, who have recorded her song  “Rescue Me.” (photo by Dana Johnson)

Katie Darnell is pictured with John Rich, left, and Big Kenny, who have recorded her song “Rescue Me.” (photo by Dana Johnson)

Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Ambassador Katie Darnell helped kick off Vanderbilt’s Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) 2001 Campaign by telling an audience of national and local corporate CMN sponsors how much the hospital meant to her.

“I was born at Vanderbilt and I’ve received all of my cancer treatments at Vanderbilt,” she said. “I can’t say enough about what a great place this is and how friendly and caring everyone is.”

Darnell, who penned the song “Rescue Me”, then left to begin an odyssey of events for the national CMN kick off campaign. She performed before President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush on Wednesday, April 4, at the White House.

“This is a dream come true,” Darnell said. “I never thought the song would take off like this. John (Rich) has been so good to me and I can’t thank him enough.”

Darnell said when she wrote the song, “it flowed out of me onto the paper as if you were pouring a glass of water.” She wrote the song as part of her struggle with cancer.

She and country artist John Rich were invited to the White House as part of the Children’s Miracle Network Champions Across America program, sponsored by IOF Foresters. The program features a child from each state who has been successfully treated at a Children’s Miracle Network-affiliated hospital. The children are chosen to represent the 14 million kids treated in children’s hospitals across the country each year.

The group then traveled to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. to help kick off the annual CMN fund-raising campaign. Darnell and Rich were scheduled to perform in Orlando as part of the activities there.

Darnell, a 17-year-old from Princeton, Ky., met Rich when he performed for children at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Rich was so impressed with Darnell’s song, he recorded it as a gift to her. The song was passed on to a Nashville radio station, and it began getting heavy play. It has since been played by stations across the country. Darnell and Rich have appeared in numerous print articles and have appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” and on ABC’s “The View.”

Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, Children’s Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping children by raising funds and awareness for 170 children’s hospitals throughout North America. Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital is one of the 22 founding hospitals that helped form CMN.