How 'rough road' of leukemia diagnosis became smoother

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ATLAS TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Four-year-old Charlie has been through a lot since being diagnosed with leukemia in February, and faces another two and a half years of treatment.

His parents, Tim and April Paraschos, and older brothers, Brady and Sam, have been by his side every step of the way.

“When the word comes out ‘cancer,’ and then not just cancer, but your child has cancer. You’re really knocked over. But the expertise at Hurley, the guidance they gave us, the treatment plan made a rough road a little bit smoother,” said Tim Paraschos.

The Atlas Township family say that support has created a bond.

“It’s a family that nobody asked to be a part of, but it’s one of the best families,” said April Paraschos.

Now, they would like to pay it forward by encouraging people to “Vote for Miracles.” The Children’s Miracle Network is searching nationwide for America’s favorite children’s hospitals. The grand prize is $50,000. By Monday night, Hurley Children's Hospital was in the lead with nearly 200,000 votes.

“It’s always stiff competition and you have huge hospital systems that are vying for this money and we’re just little Hurley,” said hospital spokesperson Peggy Agar. “But they don’t realize that we have a community that is just so supportive and will do anything to help us win. And we appreciate them so much.”

Hurley Children’s Hospital is the only Children’s Miracle Network facility in Mid-Michigan. The center serves families from 15 counties. This month alone, they will admit up to 300 children, according to Agar.

That’s hundreds of families who are impacted, as well.

“Thank you, Hurley,” said April Paraschos. “Thank you to the doctors, the staff. We can’t imagine going through this journey and getting to where we are today without them.”

This is the third year for the competition and Hurley Medical Center has won the award the past two years. Funds have helped create 14 private rooms and a special treatment room for children who suffer physical, sexual and human trafficking abuse.

To learn more about the competition or vote for your favorite children’s hospital, click here.

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