Elsie as a child

Mighty Blog

Why I Walk for Amazing: Elsie’s Story

This story appears in our #WhyIWalk blog series

img_0450Parents Paul and Spencer welcomed their daughter, Elsie, in October of 2012. Though Paul, local radio station Cities 97 host, admits being first-time parents meant feeling like they didn’t have many answers, they knew something wasn’t right when Elsie hadn’t passed any stool after turning one week old.

Initially, their pediatrician wasn’t able to give them answers. After returning to their doctor’s office three times, an x-ray was eventually done that showed parts of Elsie’s intestine were inflamed. A doctor recommended they go to Children’s Minnesota, where they were asked to stay overnight for monitoring. Within hours, doctors at Children’s diagnosed Elsie with Hirschsprung’s Disease. This disease affects the large intestine and is a result of missing nerve cells in muscles of the patient’s colon, causing problems passing stool.

img_0555A few weeks later, Elsie had her first surgery to get a colostomy bag. After six months, it was removed and now at almost five-and-a-half years old, she’s a happy child who regularly sees specialists at Children’s.

Because of their experience, Elsie and her family previously participated in Baby Steps 3K, an annual event that raised money for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Children’s Minnesota. Paul even served as event emcee for several years. This summer, the family plans to continue their commitment to Children’s and participate in the all new Walk for Amazing.

“We found the amazing that is Children’s Minnesota,” said Paul. “This event feels like we’re all unifying and celebrating how much Children’s impacts the world and our kids.”


Paul will serve as emcee at this special event, which will bring together the community to celebrate the most amazing people on earth — kids. Attendees can designate funds raised to any program at Children’s, connect with families who have similar stories, and reunite with members of Children’s clinical staff.

Walk for Amazing will take place at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday, June 22, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. You can learn more about the event, register and begin fundraising here.

Rachel Patterson