Take a Walk Through the Parks at the Disneyland Resort Before The Open

On July 21st, guests have the opportunity to take a walk through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure before the gates welcome guests in for their normal operating day. While walking through the parks, they will see Disney and Pixar characters, music groups, and other fun surprises. They will also get to do it with a fantastic group of people who are looking to make the world a better place for sick children. That’s right, this is what supporters get to experience when they participate in the CHOC Walk on July 21, 2024!

The CHOC Walk in the Park is an annual tradition and it raises money to support CHOC’s ongoing mission to provide care and comfort for the children who come through its doors and their families. Through the years, this has been something that my eyes have been increasingly opened to. As I’ve heard stories from various families, I have found that this isn’t just about incredible medical services, it’s also about incredible people who give their hearts to support the children and their families who are at CHOC during the most difficult times. They literally hold families up with their support both literally and physically as they deal with some pretty incredible medical challenges. They provide kind care and love to help families get through rough times emotionally and physically.

CHOC Walk Event with Disneyland Ambassadors and Choco Bear

On June 27th, members of the media and influencers were invited to a special event about this year’s CHOC Walk. At this event, more was shared about what was coming this year, the impact it makes, and how the CHOC Walk raises $2 million each year to help support the children of Orange County. See what was said during this even in the following video.

2024 CHOC Walk Ambassador and Disneyland Ambassador
2024 CHOC Walk Ambassador and Disneyland Ambassador

Each year, the CHOC Walk also has its own Ambassador to recent it. Much like the Disneyland Ambassadors, this person represents CHOC at a variety of events and shares about it’s heart. Each CHOC Ambassador is a child who has received care from CHOC and can share about their experience. This year, that CHOC Ambassador is Kara. When Kara was born, she didn’t get to have the normal experience of being held by her family with lots of snuggles and funny baby noises being made by adults around her. Instead, minutes after being born, she was whisked away by the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) team and put in an enclosed, glad mobile infant incubator. From there, she was taken to CHOC. This is where she really started her life.

Her parents shared about the experience saying the following:

Kara was diagnosed with Respiratory Distress Syndrome and early-onset neonatal sepsis. We later found out how severe it could be. A newborn who has an infection and develops sepsis can have inflammation throughout their body. This inflammation and blood clotting causes reduced blood flow to your baby’s limbs and vital organs. It can lead to organ failure—and even death.

Kara spent exactly one week and one hour in the NICU. She went through one round of antibiotics and also some phototherapy for her jaundice. It looked like she was sunbathing. We went in every morning to be with her and hold her. It was a good transition for us as first-time parents because we practiced changing diapers and bottle feeding as we had her nurses watch over us. At the end of visiting hours, we had to go home, and the nurses assured us we could call them any time of the night to get updates on Kara. They were so sweet from the nurses near the bed to the lactation nurse.

Being first-time parents, we did as much as we could to prepare and welcome our daughter into the world. But we never imagined that something so precious and long waited for could be taken away from you so quickly. We have since never taken our daughter for granted.

While we were at CHOC, we met other families in the NICU. Some were patients for three months or longer with much more complicated symptoms and medical issues.  Hearing their stories and their experiences with CHOC, we knew that we could put our trust in CHOC. We never felt any doubt and considered ourselves extremely lucky that CHOC was able to give us back our daughter. Now she’s 12 years old and thriving.

Over a decade later, Kara and her family participate annual in the CHOC Walk. They shared that “CHOC Walk is such a magical event where you are inspired to do more and give back or get others involved. As you walk through Disneyland® park and Disney California Adventure® park, you witness patients, families, friends, colleagues, community members come together by the thousands rallying their appreciation for CHOC, rain or shine. It’s incredible.”

Walking in the CHOC Walk helps support children like Kara and her family. While a walk through the Disneyland Resort is a lot of fun, this particular walk is also very important. It needs people like you who are reading this to participate. If you have read this far and are moved in any way by the words of Zach Abrams, the Disneyland Ambassador, or Kara’s story, I encourage you to support or join Team Daps Magic. Heck, if you have read this far and are simply remotely intrigued by the CHOC Walk and what it is, I encourage you to join or support Team Daps Magic! OR, if you don’t fit in the above two categories and simply want the world to be a little bit better, more positive, and kinder, I encourage you to join or support Team Daps Magic for this year’s CHOC Walk.

We all have some sort of influence. I, for one, want to use whatever influence I have to help make the world a better place one way or another. Supporting the CHOC Walk is a way that I am honored to do so. I’m regularly blown away by the stories of strength and resilience of kids who have gone through the most terrifying scenarios with the support of the people at CHOC. I always want to be, and for Daps Magic to be, in support of organizations that support those who need it the most in a positive way. CHOC does this. I hope you will join us in our efforts to support CHOC!