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Family’s experience at Children’s inspires Aerotek’s Annual Charity Golf Event

Aerotek’s Annual Charity Golf Event is seven years strong – and it has raised more than $100,000 for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center during that time. Proceeds have benefited Children’s patients through a variety of programs and initiatives, including Child Life, the Wishing Well program, construction of the Hubbard Center for Children and more.

The spark that ignited this successful annual golf event started with Travis Hinze, regional business development executive for Aerotek, whose personal experience with Children’s began in February 2011.

Travis and his family had moved to Omaha just a few months prior to the birth of their second child. Their daughter, Braylee, was born on Feb. 17 and left the hospital two days later. However, Braylee had been home for a just few hours when Travis and his wife, Trisha, became concerned that she wasn’t eating well and sleeping non-stop. They took Braylee to their pediatrician who checked her oxygen levels and immediately called for an ambulance to get her to Children’s.

“Our daughter was unable to sustain breathing on her own, so she was hooked up to a ventilator while the team of doctors tried to figure out what she had,” Travis says. “It took them over three days to determine a diagnosis. The miraculous part of the story is that one of the three initial antibiotics she was given when she was admitted is what is typically prescribed for the infection she had.”

Braylee was diagnosed with a blood borne bacterial infection. If she had not been treated so quickly, the infection could have developed into meningitis – a condition with a high mortality rate for infants as young as Braylee.

“After seven days of treatment, Braylee was able to be removed from the ventilator and we were able to take her home from the hospital,” Travis says. “It’s unfathomable to us still to this day. We sometimes still pinch ourselves to remind us just how lucky Braylee and we were during that time.”

The Hinze family’s story with Children’s doesn’t end there. When their third child, Hudson, was born 17 months later, he had an ambulance ride to Children’s on his second day of life. Hudson had a laryngeal cleft – a hole in his tracheal wall that allows food and liquid to get into the lungs.

After multiple surgeries and a six-week stay, Hudson was released from the hospital. However, the repairs to his cleft continued to break down.

“At the 4- to 6-month point, we were beginning to think Hudson would have to live with this condition the rest of this life.  Our doctor stayed on our case and performed another procedure when he was roughly 6 months old. This procedure ended up working, and the cleft repair held up,” Travis says.

Today, Hudson is a 7-year-old who loves to collect basketball and football cards and play every sport possible. His sister Braylee, now 8, loves basketball, soccer and hanging out with her friends. She’s one of the most compassionate little girls her parents have ever known.

“Miracle is an incredibly strong word, but it’s a word we associate with Braylee, Hudson and the great staff at Children’s who support the greater Omaha area and beyond,” Travis says. “We could not feel more blessed to have this great institution as a part of our lives. The state of Nebraska should be proud of everything it offers and helps support.”

Travis and his family have returned to their home state of Minnesota, and he continues to work for Aerotek.

“Helping to raise money for Children’s is an honor and a privilege. The fact that Aerotek allowed my staff and me to start a fundraising golf tournament seven years ago that has led to donations of more than $100,000, it’s absolutely incredible,” Travis says.

Aerotek Account Manager Kelly Schipper, who is based in Omaha, is continuing the tradition of leading this successful golfing event. In 2019, 107 golfers participated, raising $14,603.

“Raising money and supporting Children’s is extremely rewarding,” Kelly says. “When this tournament started seven years ago, Aerotek wanted to do something to help the community. The hospital plays such an important role in the Omaha area. Thank you to all who support Aerotek’s Annual Charity Golf Event and the health of the kids in our region!”

The Hinze family
The Hinze family
Aerotek's Omaha team
Aerotek’s Omaha team
Enjoying Aerotek’s Annual Charity Golf Event
Enjoying Aerotek’s Annual Charity Golf Event