The Children’s Hospital Kid of the Quarter Program recognizes child ambassadors who are current or previous patients. These ambassadors connect patients with the community to share their stories and help raise funds and awareness for the Hospital.
Meet Lillian & Logan
Lillian, 12, and Logan, 7, both struggle with the challenges of celiac disease and extreme food sensitivities.
When Lillian was 3, she was living on her couch, sick with vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue. After visiting doctor after doctor for about a year, she was diagnosed with celiac disease and changed her diet. When she continued to get sick despite the strict diet, Dr. Edward Hoffenberg at Children’s Hospital Colorado determined the problem was cross-contamination in the atmosphere from grain silos in rural Kansas. At the age of 5, Lillian and her family moved to Northglenn, Colorado to continue her care.
Lillian’s journey with celiac disease and the resources and tools that they received to help navigate her diagnosis has helped her younger brother, Logan, tremendously in his journey dealing with severe food sensitivities.
As a way to give back to the Children’s Hospital, Lillian authored and illustrated her first book, Cecilia the Celiac Superhero, a true story based on Lillian’s life and how she learned to conquer gluten and cross contamination to defeat celiac disease. The book was written to inspire other Celiac Superheroes like herself and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Children’s Hospital Colorado who she credits to saving her life.
We happily celebrated these strong, brave superheroes in November by touring the construction progress at the Children’s Hospital Colorado – North Campus in Broomfield. A painting class hosted by Whimsey Paint and Sip followed the tour and we all painted characters from Lillian’s book.
Lillian and Logan wanted to be a part of spreading comfort and joy this season to other child patients from the Children’s Hospital. In early December, the two partnered with the Sturgeon Electric, ISEC and Design Studio Blue team to surprise another young patient with holiday lights on her home. Emilia, another Children’s Hospital Ambassador, was diagnosed with a rare liver disease that caused significant damage to the organ when she was just five weeks old.
When the eight-year-old came home from school on a Tuesday afternoon, she gleefully squealed from inside her car as she drove up to her house and saw Santa Claus and thousands of twinkling lights decorating her home. Emilia wrote a letter to Santa asking him to put lights on their house so he can see them on Christmas and just a couple days later, her house was festive with holiday spirit!
Gexpro Electrical Supplies donated thousands of lights and Sturgeon Electric brought in bucket trucks and crews to string lights on the home. ISEC and Design Studio Blue brought refreshments and holiday entertainment, and Santa Claus visited from the North Pole during his busy season bearing gifts and talked to the children to find out what was on their Christmas lists.
Meeting these amazing children and learning about how Children’s Hospital Colorado saved their lives inspires us all and reminds our team of the importance of the work that we do. We are proud to be part of the construction of a facility that has saved so many lives!
Read more coverage about this story:
Broomfield Enterprise: Young Patients Tour Broomfield Hospital Expansion
Colorado Hometown Weekly: Erie Girl Lights Up at Sign of Christmas Surprise
For Sturgeon Electric, this story sounds very familiar. The company’s founders are credited with having invented the outdoor Christmas light tradition:
Just before the Christmas of 1914, 10-year-old David Jonathan Sturgeon lay ill, confined in his bed on the second floor of the Sturgeon home in Denver, Colorado. The young boy was too sick to see and enjoy the family Christmas tree downstairs, but he could see some pine trees outside his bedroom window. David pleaded with his father, David Dwight “D.D.” Sturgeon to put lights on one of the pine trees outside so he could see it.
Determined to fulfill his son’s wish, D.D. Sturgeon, an electrician who had founded Sturgeon Electric Company, Inc. just two years earlier, dipped some ordinary light bulbs in red and green paint, strung them on electric lines and draped them over one of the trees outside. David lay in his bed, watching the lights sparkle like emeralds and rubies against the ermine mantle of snow.
Word of this outdoor wonder spread rapidly and drew people from miles away. According to news accounts of the time, people in horse-drawn carriages and chugging automobiles drove slowly past the home, marveling at the beautiful glistening tree.
Years later, young David passed away, but neighbors who had marveled at his tree joined together to light up their own yards, and the Tennyson Street neighborhood soon became the talk of the town. House by house, block after block the idea spread and through the years this has become a holiday tradition.
Thomas Edison displayed the first indoor electrically lit Christmas tree in 1882 at the home of his friend, Edward Johnson. For the next three decades, electrically lit trees remained indoors, and only for those willing to pay the price, about $300 in the early 1900s. Although it is impossible to document exactly when and where the first outdoor Christmas tree was lit with electric lights, proud Denverites believe it started with David and his father D.D. Sturgeon. In 1945, NBC broadcast a tribute to Denver and the Sturgeon family for having originated this beautiful tradition and the story has been covered by numerous media outlets ever since.