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'Little red wagons' inspire gift

The Betcher family (from left): Marcy, Andrew, Randy, and Kira.

Looking back, Marcy Betcher thinks the seeds that would later grow into her family’s support for University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital were planted back in 1997 at the sight of little red wagons.

As Marcy waited for a hematology appointment at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, she saw a brigade of volunteers bringing young cancer patients to the clinic in colorful Radio Flyer wagons.

“I was so touched by it all—the wagons, the clown who came in to entertain the children while they waited for their blood tests,” Betcher says. “And the fact that the University let it happen so these kids could have a piece of normalcy during a difficult time.”

Fast forward to 2011, when the new University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital opened with dozens of Adopt A Rooms, special rooms designed to make the hospital a little more like home. Adopted rooms give sick children more control of their environments and provide more amenities for their families.

After hearing about the Adopt A Room program, Betcher remembered the cheer that the little red wagons had brought to the children she saw years ago—and she saw Adopt A Rooms providing that cheer on a larger scale. Plus, sponsoring a room fit perfectly with her and her husband’s convictions.

“Family giving is important to us,” says Randy Betcher. The family also believes that giving back to the community is important in its own right, he adds.

Marcy and Randy Betcher also want to instill this value in their children, Andrew, age 14, and Kira, age 10, whom they adopted from Korea.

Now the Betchers have given generously to adopt a room at Amplatz Children’s Hospital— a room they named “Andrew and Kira’s Room.”

“You don’t get an opportunity to make a big difference in people’s lives like this every day,” Randy says. “This is our chance to do that.”

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