© 2019 by Andy Pilgrim

A wonderful day at Shriner's Children's Hospital in Chicago

September 29, 2007

Sometimes when we wake up in the morning, we just don’t feel 100%.  Maybe we are a little sick or maybe all those things we have to do in a day are giving us stress problems.  I know I feel this way occasionally, it’s part of our make up as humans.  To tell you the truth, I had a hard time getting out of bed on last Tuesday morning.  I was in a hotel, again, in Chicago airport on my 48th night in a hotel out of the last 51 nights.  It was my last night before going home and I could almost hear my own bed and clean bed sheets calling my name.  

On Tuesday the alarm call dragged me out of a deep sleep.  I was still very sleepy I laid back and tried to focus on the ceiling and figure out where I was.  It’s sometimes quite painful if you don’t actually let yourself wake up enough before leaping out of bed, especially when traveling as much as I do.  You can easily get out the bed on the wrong side, crash head long into the table that wasn’t there the night before because the night before you were in a different hotel.  Experience does pay dividends sometimes.

As I looked at the ceiling I plugged my mind into the day’s agenda.  My sleepy head cleared, the 30 phone calls I needed to make were forgotten and the stress seemed to just flow out of my body.  I was In Chicago and I was going to the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.  Tuesday would not be my first time to visit Shriner’s in Chicago.  My memory of this Hospital, the wonderful people who work there and the amazing patient’s is unforgettable.  I was awake and ready to get going.  

Sahar Hassani is the tireless person from the hospital who set up my visit, managed everything while I was there and took all the pictures.  I want to say a huge thanks to her.  I arrived early enough to walk around and see several patients in therapy and in wards which was a great experience for me.  The patients were mostly young children from 7-14 but some of them were older.  They all seemed very happy to see me and I signed t shirts and autograph cards that we had at hand.  

When I had made a round of the hospital I went outside to meet more patients and some parent’s.  A local group of Corvette owners had made a special trip to come to the hospital when they knew I was coming and offered to let the patient’s sit on and in their cars.  Now if you know Vette owners like I do, that’s a really big deal.  Having the Vette’s there was a fantastic hit with the patient’s and I have to say huge thanks to all of them for their time and effort.

We have had several requests’ from parents to put a story and pictures from the day on my site.  I am thankful to all the families for allowing me to share this wonderful day with them and to share these pictures with the race fans.       

It’s impossible to say how much I personally get from these visits.  I just cannot have a bad day when I think of these young people.  Some of them have terminal illness, in many cases you just cannot tell; they are happy, bright, thankful and so very brave.  I am humbled by the fact that their lives seem to be made a little brighter by my visit.  

Thank you Shriner’s for a wonderful Hospital.  Thank you Sahar and other hospital staff for all your help to make this day so great.


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