COVINGTON - Nine-month-old Brody Hunt is a healthy, active little boy. His mother Candace Hunt calls him "my miracle baby."
She and Brody's father David give credit to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta for saving his life.
At just 5 weeks old, Brody was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis after his parents took him to Children's Healthcare with a high fever.
Following a round of antibiotics, Brody improved. But at 3 months old, he was back in the hospital, again with bacterial meningitis.
This time, doctors found the cause: tethered cord syndrome, a birth defect related to spina bifida. The spinal cord becomes "tethered" when the tube that forms the spinal cord fails to close, and the cord becomes abnormally attached to the spine.
Following surgery to free the spinal cord and remove a cyst from his spinal column, Brody is healthy.
The staff at Children's Healthcare made his ordeal as easy as possible, Candace Hunt said.
"Children's Healthcare has been there. The nurses and doctors are wonderful. They make it so comfortable in an uncomfortable setting," she said. "They go out of their way and care a lot about the kids."
Now, the Hunts are doing what they can to give back.
This week, they are being featured on Atlanta radio station Star 94 as part of the Star 94 Cares for Kids Radiothon benefiting Children's Healthcare.
From Thursday through Saturday, the radio station will change its format to dedicate time to raise awareness and money for the hospital, hosting shows live there.
Brody's parents have already taped an interview with the Cindy and Ray Show, sharing their son's struggles and the help he found at Children's Healthcare.
It's all meant to get listeners to call in and pledge money. Last year, the radiothon raised more than $1 million. Candace Hunt is hoping that Covington and Conyers residents will do their part to help.
"Anybody can support a cause. That could be your child. It could be your child at any time," she said.
The Hunts are taking a team of 16 volunteers to work the radiothon.
But they won't be done giving back once the event is over.
Candace Hunt has started a ministry at her church, Crosspoint Christian in Conyers, to help sick children.
The mission of Brody's Angels is to raise funds for Children's Healthcare as well as gather donations of teddy bears, coloring books and crayons to distribute to Newton and Rockdale medical centers for use by children visiting the emergency rooms.
"There were just so many random acts of kindness that I didn't expect," during Brody's illness, she said. "I just decided as soon as I get him better, I want to do this, to raise money to help kids at the hospital."
For more information on Brody's Angels, call Crosspoint Church at 770-483-1887, e-mail Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.xpt.cc, click on "Get Connected," "Women's Ministries" and then "Brody's Angels."
Crystal Tatum can be reached at email@example.com.