2017 Ignite Hope Raises Over $370,000

ignite-hope-2016-blog-header-750x500pxMidnight skies, the glow of candlelight, and over 2,000 people joined together to experience an evening of heartfelt support and inspiration this past weekend. On Saturday, December 10, Phoenix Children’s Hospital put on their 5th Annual Ignite Hope walk and raised over $370,000 that will go towards patient care, research, and so much more.

Hosted by Vanessa Ruiz from 12 News, the night started off at North High School where families and friends could enjoy refreshments, engage in family-friendly activities, and snap photos with superheroes and the man himself, Santa. At 5:30 p.m., walkers of all ages turned on their battery-lit candles (complete with realistic flickering) and began the one-mile walk to Phoenix Children’s. As people started to arrive around 6 p.m., current patients and their families wanting to watch the program came downstairs and were escorted into the V.I.P. (Very Important Patients) section. Read more on our blog.

An Evening of Hope

Inspired by a 15-year-old girl battling cancer whose friends held a candlelight vigil outside her window, Ignite Hope has become a Valley holiday tradition. The evening kicks off with a family-friendly event at North High School that includes a visit from Santa, face painting, superhero appearances, music and refreshments.

The 1.1 mile walk to the Hospital is led by the Phoenix Fire Department and the top-fundraising team. After being serenaded by holiday carolers along the route, walkers are greeted at the hospital by patients waiving candles from their windows. After an inspirational program led by patients, the Hospital’s Christmas tree is lit to end the evening.

The holidays can be one of the most difficult times of the year for families to spend in the hospital, but through Ignite Hope they are reminded that they are not fighting alone. As one patient father stated, “The power of being supported absolutely cannot be measured.”

The Inspiration

In October, 2011 Katie, a 15 year old high school sophomore was diagnosed with a rare form of stage 4 cancer, which only impacts about five in one million kids. While at Phoenix Children’s Hospital undergoing aggressive chemotherapy, her friends from high school and her church youth group held a candlelight vigil in her honor at the hospital. Not only was Katie looking out her window at the hundreds of kids gathered to give her hope, other patients experienced the same incredibly moving experience as they peered from their windows.

It got us thinking, what if the entire community came together for a candlelight walk during the holidays –an especially difficult time for a child to be hospitalized – and provided that same hope our patients felt that night? Our inaugural Ignite Hope walk took place in December 2012.

Katie passed away on September 17, 2013. We are so thankful she was able to participate in our first Ignite Hope walk. Thank you for participating in this year’s event and IGNITING HOPE by celebrating Katie and all of our courageous PCH patients!