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Hinsdale Central students swim to raise money for hospital

Hinsdale – Hinsdale Central High School students raised $10,000 for Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s pediatric epilepsy program at a “swim-a-thon” fundraiser held at the school Feb. 1. Swim team members Grace Hucek, Stephanie McKay, Lexi Gross and Sarah Shaner, along with coach Dan Otahal, organized the event and will be honored by the West Suburban Philanthropic Network next week for their efforts.

McKay, 17, who was diagnosed with epilepsy in seventh grade, said she hopes the funds will benefit kids like her. She and her friends hope to make the swim-a-thon an annual event to raise money for the hospital. 

“We’re really a close group of girls – best friends – and we thought it would be fun to do,” she said.

Adventist Hinsdale Hospital recently opened a long-term epilepsy monitoring unit dedicated to pediatric patients. Staffed by pediatric nurses and pediatric physician specialists, the unit brings experts together from both hospitals who diagnose and treat some of the most challenging epilepsy cases. As patients are monitored at Adventist Hinsdale, their data is transmitted in real time to pediatric epileptologists at University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.

The swim-a-thon involved about 40 swim and track team members. The competition included running in water with participants having floats on their hips and other challenges.

The four girls and their coach will be honored as outstanding volunteers May 20 at the West Suburban Philanthropic Network’s annual awards luncheon at Abbington Distinctive Banquets in Glen Ellyn.

“We couldn’t be more proud of these four young girls who have demonstrated such generosity,” said Susan King, executive director of the Hinsdale Hospital Foundation. “Their work will better the lives of countless children.”

For more information about supporting the pediatric epilepsy program at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, please contact the Hinsdale Hospital Foundation  at 630-856-2000.