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'Miracle Treat Day' benefits thousands like Donnelly boy

By Tom Larson

Sun Tribune

The words "Children's Miracle Network" might sound like just another charitable non-profit, but it's been a godsend for one Donnelly family.

Carter Fults, 4, son of Joe and Jen Fults, is regularly treated by professionals of Gillette Children's Hospital, one of 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals.

"He loves going to Gillette," Jen Fults said of Carter, who suffered spinal cord injuries at birth and is a paraplegic. "It's his favorite place because it's so fun there. They have a lot of activities for the kids."

Once again, the network and Dairy Queen have joined to sponsor "Miracle Treat Day" to help improve the lives of children facing diseases and injuries.

On Thursday, Aug. 7, the proceeds from all Dairy Queen Blizzards will be donated to the Children's Miracle Network.

DQ customers can buy Blizzards for the regular price on Aug. 7, or they can purchase coupons prior to that day and redeem them at any time until the end of August, said Erv Krosch, owner of Dairy Queen Brazier in Morris.

Dairy Queen also is offering paper "balloons" on which customers' names are printed and hung on the wall. All the proceeds from the "balloons" are donated to the Children's Miracle Network, and customers who buy them receive coupons for Dairy Queen products, Krosch said.

The Children's Miracle Network raises funds for children's hospitals throughout the U.S. The money is used for research, medical care and education on diseases and injuries affecting children.

Carter was about 18 months old before doctors fully understood the extent of his injuries. Since then the Fults family, which includes 14-month-old sister Cassie, visit Gillette two or three times a year for Carter's examinations by various specialists, Jen said.

And Gillette also has a mobile outreach clinic that travels to cities such as Fergus Falls and Alexandria. That saves the family time and the expense of driving to the Twin Cities if Carter needs orthodics adjustments or other relatively simple care, Jen said.

"It's a great service," she said.

Carter has a manual wheelchair and also a power chair that has greatly enhanced his life, she said.

"The power chair has done wonders for him," Jen said. "He's a lot more independent where he wasn't at all before."