Britton’s Believers: Patients Supporting Patients
We at Boys Town National Research Hospital call ourselves life-changers. We are able to do our life-changing work because we have a comprehensive team of physicians, nurses, patient representatives, support staff and patients – yes, our patients are an invaluable part of our team.
Our patients inspire our doctors, help us improve our systems, raise money, support other patients and spread the word about the unmatched care at Boys Town Hospital.
One such patient is Britton. First introduced to Boys Town as an infant when she was diagnosed with profound hearing loss, Britton's outspoken, social spirit has been drawing people to Boys Town's Memorial Day Run ever since.
When Britton was just 6 months old, her mother, Megan Geissinger, assembled a team to participate in the Memorial Day Run, one of Boys Town's fundraising walk/run events. The goal of the team was to honor Britton and to support the Boys Town programs and services that aided in her treatment and development.
"Our lives were forever changed the day Britton received her diagnosis," Megan said. "We, as a family, are so grateful for the amazing technology and services provided by Boys Town, and we wanted to give back."
What started as a team made up of mostly family members has grown to include friends and coworkers. Each year, Megan's dedication and Britton's charisma bring more and more people to the event. In 2019, Megan took it a step further and asked her place of work to donate to the event.
Britton Cares, so Bland Cares
Just a couple weeks after starting her job at Bland & Associates, Megan attended the company's annual meeting, where a program called Bland Cares caught her attention.
Formed in the fall of 2014, Bland Cares Foundation is an employee-built program that allows employees and the company to streamline volunteer and donation efforts to make a strong charitable impact in the Omaha community, while raising awareness for local organizations that resonate with Bland & Associates employees.
"It is very important to the board members of Bland Cares Foundation that we support the causes and organizations that are important and meaningful to our employees," said Kailey Riskowski, Bland Cares Foundation board member. "After Megan approached us and shared with us the impact that the Boys Town Lied Learning & Technology Center has had on her family, and her daughter specifically, we immediately knew we wanted to support this event."
Believers: Bigger and Better Every Year
Over the years, the Memorial Day Run has become an institution for the Geissinger family and friends. It's such an institution, in fact, that Britton has even started referring to it as her run.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic forced the event organizers to carry out the 2020 Memorial Day Run as a virtual event, that didn't stop Britton's Believers from showing up in a big way.
Claudia Wickham, Britton's aunt, spearheaded a multitude of fun and creative fundraisers to support the family's favorite cause. Claudia sold shirts, led a Facebook Bingo activity, hosted a Thirty-One Bag party and solicited some good, old-fashioned cash donations. When all was said and done, Britton's friends and family helped bring in more than $1,200 – in addition to the repeated Bland Cares Foundation 2020 sponsorship!
And you'd better believe that Britton's Believers are here to stay!
"It [participating in the run] is our way of giving back to the organization that has supported our daughter from the very beginning," Megan said. "It's an amazing event, and I'm humbled every year."