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ND Childrens Miracle Network Champion Monica Hatch of Sykeston ND Flying to Washington DC Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 28, is a big day for 14-year-old Monica Hatch of Sykeston, N.D. At 10:44 a.m., Monica, her mom, Karen, and brother, Cody, will be flying from Fargo's Hector Airport to Washington, D.C. to meet 49 other young Children's Miracle Network (CMN) "champions" and their families from the United States to tour the nation's capital.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 28, is a big day for 14-year-old Monica Hatch of Sykeston, N.D. At 10:44 a.m., Monica, her mom, Karen, and brother, Cody, will be flying from Fargo's Hector Airport to Washington, D.C. to meet 49 other young Children's Miracle Network (CMN) "champions" and their families from the United States to tour the nation's capital.

Champions are selected by children's hospitals affiliated with CMN to act as ambassadors to the media and the public. They represent the millions of other children treated annually in children's hospitals across North America. CMN, the alliance of premier hospitals for children, is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping kids by raising funds for 180 children's hospitals across North America. MeritCare has the only children's hospital in North Dakota.

On Thursday, March 29, the champions and their families are tentatively scheduled to tour the White House; on Saturday, they'll travel to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., to participate in taping the 2007 "Children's Miracle Network Celebration," which will air Saturday, June 2, from 1-10 p.m.

When Monica was 11 years old, she was diagnosed with cancer - spindle cell sarcoma. Though her first course of chemotherapy proceeded as planned, her second course of chemotherapy did not. Due to her weakened immune system, she developed pneumonia and blood infection. Monica lapsed into a coma for weeks and was dependent on a respirator and feeding tube. She fought through every setback, regaining her strength to continue the fight with cancer. Last July, a large tumor was removed from her chest cavity followed by a full course of radiation therapy. Things seemed to be improving, however, in February 2007, Monica and her family received the unfortunate news that her cancer had returned and had spread throughout her body.

Despite all the school Monica has missed, she has maintained an impressive 3.5 grade point average. In her spare time, she makes bracelets and gift bags for kids at MeritCare Children's Hospital. Monica is determined to let people know how much she loves life and wants to get the most out of every moment. Her slogan is, "I'm not sick, I just have cancer."