News

Rockdale’s Strelsky Miracle Network ‘state champ’

By MIKE BROWN
Reporter Editor


Dustin Strelsky (top photo), surrounded by family and friends at his home, including both sets of grandparents, learns he has been selected Texas “champion” for the Children’s Miracle Network for 2011. Strelsky has been confined to a wheelchair since a spinal cord injury in a Jan. 20, 2010, car wreck. In bottom photo, Kellie Tiner (R) makes the surprise announcement to Strelsky as (L-R) Wendy Pickett, Angela White, Jeanne Weed, Josh Johnson and Katie Strelsky look on. 
Reporter/Mike Brown Dustin Strelsky (top photo), surrounded by family and friends at his home, including both sets of grandparents, learns he has been selected Texas “champion” for the Children’s Miracle Network for 2011. Strelsky has been confined to a wheelchair since a spinal cord injury in a Jan. 20, 2010, car wreck. In bottom photo, Kellie Tiner (R) makes the surprise announcement to Strelsky as (L-R) Wendy Pickett, Angela White, Jeanne Weed, Josh Johnson and Katie Strelsky look on. Reporter/Mike Brown Two thousand eleven is going to be so much better than 2010 for 13-year-old Dustin Strelsky of Rockdale.

On Jan. 20, 2010, Dustin sustained a spinal cord injury, leaving him in a wheelchair, in a wreck near Hearne that also injured his mother and sister and took the life of a 73-year-old Jacksonville resident.

He’s beginning the new year with an honor that only 50 youngsters in the nation get. He’s the Texas champion of the Children’s Miracle Network.

It’s a very big deal. The 50 state champions will travel throughout the year to represent the 17 million children treated at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals throughout the nation.

WHITE HOUSE—They will first go to Washington, D. C., to visit the White House and Capitol Hill.

Then it’s on to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, to the annual Children’s Miracle Network celebration event.

Dustin, who has had five surgeries, was nominated for the award by Scott & White Hospital.

Kellie Tiner, Children’s Miracle Network manager for Scott & White, was on hand at the Strelsky home last week to make the announcement.

She was almost as thrilled as the Strelsky family. “It’s the first time ever a child from Scott & White’s Children’s Hospital has been selected,” she said. “We are so excited to have Dustin and his family represent Texas.”

Children’s Miracle Network is a nonprofit organization encompassing 170 hospitals nationwide.

Scott & White Children’s Hospital provides medical services to children of all ages and backgrounds for “every imaginable injury from asthma and broken bones to cancer and heart defects,” Tiner said.

‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’—Dustin didn’t know of his selection until a surprise party last Wednesday organized by parents Shane and Jennifer Strelsky at their home.

Dustin was taken on a shopping trip and more than two dozen family members— including both sets of grandparents— Wayne and Margie Brinkley, Billy and Regina Strelsky—friends, educators, church representatives, gathered.

When Dustin returned and entered through a back door, he was greeted with cake, punch, presents and cries of “ happy bir thday.”

While a somewhat puzzled, but grinning, Dustin looked on, the crowd serenaded him with a chorus of “Happy Birthday to You.”

Dustin’s birthday is in September.

“He’s such a jokester anyway,” mom Jennifer smiled. “It was really a neat way to spring this on him.”

Then Tiner stepped up and told the Texas state “poster boy” for Children’s Miracle Network what it was all about.

Dustin’s response: “I wondered what all the cars were doing in our driveway.”


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