Children's Hospital Visits

As Miss International, some of the appearances I have been able to do is visit children’s hospitals. Since I interact with children on a daily basis, I have found so much joy in being around little ones! Their perspective on life, and how most are able to run and play without a care in the world, is something that we can all learn from. Although it is never easy to see children that are sick, I wanted to do something that would hopefully bring a little light into a scary time in their lives. Through my interactions with the patients and their families, I have gained continued compassion for what children go through when they are chronically or terminally ill.

I have also found my visits to be a humbling experience. I remember my visit to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I went to every room to visit the kids. After two hours, my head was throbbing from the weight of the crown on my head. I was literally having to force a smile on my face as I would walk into every child’s room. It got to the point that I thought I was going to have to take a break just to be able to take off my crown and relieve my headache. It was in that moment that I felt God speak to me. Here I was internally complaining about my headache from my beautiful crown, when there were children I was visiting who were fighting for their life with every breath they took. I then decided to change my perspective and deal with the pain, as nothing I was going through could compare to the pain the children were experiencing. 

I often think of that moment and many others when I am tempted to complain about a “bad day” or small pain that I am feeling. I never try to minimize my feelings as that is emotionally unhealthy, but it does help remind me that in an interesting way, I am blessed to have the problems that I do have, as they could be much worse. As I plan to visit more children’s hospitals in the future, I want to thank the children I have already visited. Thank you for inspiring so many people through the strength you show every day. You are all fighters, and I continue to pray for each and every one of you!

Continuing to break the stigma,

Elise Banks
Miss International 2015


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