Sean Bethke, a 12 year-old from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is visiting Washington D.C. this week, to serve as an ambassador for New Mexico in a national program for children's hospitals.  The program is the Children's Miracle Network Foresters Champions Across America.  

     This program chooses one child from each state, to represent the children that are treated each year at Children's Miracle Network hospitals.  Only one child from every state is selected to represent his or her state for this program.  Sean was chosen as the New Mexico Champion Child by Children's Miracle Network to serve as an ambassador for the program.  The children selected for this program represent the 17 million children seen at Children's Miracle Network hospitals every year, as well as more than 50,000 children right here in New Mexico.

      Sean Bethke was nominated to the Champions Across America and Canada Program by UNM Children's Hospital, where he was treated after a skiing accident left him with a traumatic brain injury.  After making a complete recovery, Sean was selected to serve as an ambassador for New Mexico and take his story to Washington D.C..  Sean and the other Champions have met with their Senators, Representatives, and even Miss America, while in Washington.  Photos can be seen at www.cmn.org/capitolhill.  After visiting Washington this week, the Champions will make their way to Disney World in Orlando, where they will continue to meet with celebrities and participate in the taping of a national celebration, which will air June 1st, 2003.

     UNM Children's Hospital serves more than 50,000 New Mexico children every year.  The hospital offers the most comprehensive care for children, available in New Mexico, and has the highest level of intensive care for children suffering from an illness or injury.  Pediatric physicians specialize in many areas, including pediatric surgery, neonatology, oncology, cardiology, pulmonary and much more.