Hospital fundraiser from young hospital patient

Chayse Gilchrist sits between her parents at the Jefferson County Health Center. She is organizing a 5K to raise money for 'Child's Life.'

Chayse Gilchrist is 9-years-old and is organizing a fundraiser to make the hospital a better place for patients and families.

In the spring of 2014, she was in the hospital for nine days and had 27.5 inches of her small intestine removed because of complications from a previous surgery.

Her dad, Robert Gilchrist, said Chayse has a big scar from that surgery.

"She does have an incision from just below her rib cage all the way down to the top of her pelvis so itâ??s a pretty cool scar, she's proud of it," he said.

She had to have an urgent surgery and was transferred to Iowa City from the Jefferson County Health Center in Fairfield.

Her parents say their first concern was her health, but staying by her bedside at the hospital for a long time far from home was a challenge too.

Childâ??s Life provided small but significant items for them while at the hospital, like toothbrushes and toothpaste.

They also brought in a TV so Chayse and her dad could play videogames together while she was recovering from her surgeries.

Childâ??s Life put on activities for Chayse and other children at the hospital like craft making, cooking classes, and even helped her to stay ahead on her schoolwork.

Chayseâ??s mother, Niki Gilchrist, said, "Childâ??s Life is a blessing, it really really is. It gave her a chance to not realize how sick she was."

Now Chayse is organizing a 5K to raise money for the same group that helped her and her family so much.

"I was one of the kids that got to be helped and I want to have other kids have some fun up there," said Chayse.

The race is Saturday, September 6 at the Jefferson County Health Center in Fairfield. Registration is at 9 a.m. and the race starts at 10 a.m.

Contact Niki at (641)209-2068 to register for the race or to make a donation.