Championing a Cause With Heart

Giving Back

Dori’s grandson is an inspiring reminder of why Walmart and Sam’s Club support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Dori Wilbert, a Market Manager in California, is happy to report that her 5-year-old grandson Gabe is “an average little boy without a care in the world!” To watch Gabe race around the playground or roughhouse with his brothers, it’s hard to believe that he was born three weeks early, with a serious condition that required open-heart surgery.

Momentous beginnings

As a newborn, Gabe was brought to the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, a member of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals). His family waited long, anxious days until he was strong enough for surgery. The thought of surgeons operating on his walnut-sized heart was terrifying, but the hospital staff patiently explained the procedures and answered questions, easing the family's worries.

After many weeks in the hospital, Gabe made his long-awaited arrival home. “They saved his life. It’s amazing what those doctors and nurses do and they educate you,” says Dori.

But this wasn’t Dori’s first introduction to CMN Hospitals. She has been raising money for the nonprofit for about 20 years. “Giving back was in my DNA, being raised as a Catholic,” Dori explains.

A cause with personal effects

After all those years of supporting local hospitals, Dori now understood firsthand the impact of her support. “Having a grandson that had open-heart surgery, it really hit home,” Dori shares. “I am so blessed to be a part of this and to be able to give back.”

Her family’s experience fueled Dori and her team to take part in Walmart’s CMN Hospital campaign with even more gusto. They wore tutus, held fun competitions and spread awareness about CMN Hospitals.

Most importantly, Dori shared Gabe's story — a powerful reminder of why their efforts matter. “It’s such a great cause,” Dori says. “I’m extremely proud to help champion the fundraising.”

The money raised by Dori and her team directly supports the local member children's hospital. Dori knows these funds were critical for families like hers, facing financial burdens on top of emotional turmoil.

“We couldn’t have done it without the doctors and everybody at Rady Children’s Hospital,” Dori says.

The Children’s Miracle Network provides charitable care and patient services to patients and their families, lifesaving equipment to hospitals, funding for research and education for families, patients and communities. Since 1987, Walmart and Sam’s Club have raised more than $1 billion for CMN.

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