BANGOR, Maine — Nine-year-old Noah Tibbetts of Brewer has been named the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals 2014 State of Maine Champion Child for his successful battle against bacterial meningitis. Noah received the honor at a ceremony held Wednesday at the Courtyard Marriott hotel.
Family members, doctors and teachers spoke about Noah’s story at the ceremony. Noah even delivered a speech he wrote himself before digging into a well-deserved piece of cake.
“Today is about a remarkable story embodied within the Tibbetts family,” said Michael Crowley, president for development at EMHS, at the start of the ceremony.
Noah was admitted to Eastern Maine Medical Center just three weeks after his birth with a high fever and urinary tract infection. The diagnosis — bacterial meningitis — followed shortly after. Today, Noah is strong and healthy. He recently completed the third grade at the Brewer Community School and is a baseball player and a diehard Boston Red Sox fan.
“My favorite player is Dustin Pedroia,” Noah said, “and I want to play baseball for the Red Sox when I grow up.”
Noah and his parents, Chris and Julie Tibbetts, will act as ambassadors for the EMHS Foundation Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the state of Maine. In November, the family will travel to Washington, D.C. and Orlando, Florida to speak with delegates and media about the importance of effective and accessible pediatric care.
Children’s Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals, medical research and community awareness of children’s health issues.The Hospitals Champions program honors remarkable children from throughout the United States and Canada who have triumphed, despite severe medical challenges, according to a CMN press release. For their courage and perseverance, these children have been named champions and selected as ambassadors for the 17 million children treated each year at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Noah will also have the chance to visit Disney World and see a Red Sox game during his travels.
“I’m really excited to meet more people and have more opportunities in the coming year,” said Noah in a speech he prepared for the ceremony.
The Tibbetts have been eager to give back to the Children’s Miracle Network since Noah successfully recovered. They held a Halloween fundraiser called “Dare to Scare” the year Noah was released from the hospital, and Noah and his younger brother, Gabe, put together a candy drive themselves. The family is currently planning a fundraiser called “Nickels for Noah.”
“I’ve always said Noah has incredible eyes,” said Dr. Michael Ross of EMMC Pediatric Medicine, “and I figured out why. It’s not just the depth of what he’s gone through and how well he’s done, but the maturity of his soul and the incredible compassion that has developed within it.”