Giving Back

A Snack and a Smile for Pediatric Patients

Giuliana Stasinski, 11, and Children’s Specialized Hospital Staff visit with Josh Sundquist and Olivia Michael. Credits: Children's Specialized Hospital

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — A blizzard tore through PSE&G Children's Specialized Hospital yesterday in New Brunswick.

No, it wasn't a snowstorm. Think sweeter.

It was a life-size caricature of Dairy Queen's thick, sugary dessert treat known as a Blizzard. Paralympian Josh Sundquist, a motivational speaker who has one leg, donned an early Halloween costume on the afternoon of July 26, when he visited kids undergoing therapy and treatment at Children's Specialized Hospital in the Hub City.

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Sundquist and Miss Columbus Day Olivia Michael came to the medical facility to hang out with kids, pass out actual Blizzard ice cream treats and bring about a few smiles, according to the hospital.

The pair also hoped to shine a light on Miracle Treat Day, an event going on at Dairy Queen locations today, July 27, which sees at least $1 from each Blizzard sale go toward Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. The New Brunswick medical center belongs to that group.

“A past Children's Miracle Network Hospitals patient, Josh has dedicated himself to brightening the days of others, including patients at Children's Specialized in New Brunswick,” hospital officials wrote in a statement.

Sundquist wears a one-legged costume each year. In his most recent visit, an upside-down Blizzard cup wrapped his upper body. His leg, cloaked in red, acted as the Dairy Queen spoon.

In the past, Sundquist has dressed as the fishnet-clad leg lamp from “A Christmas Story,” a Gingerbread man who lost his leg to a hungry attacker, a foosball player and the candle character from “Beauty and the Beast.”

Sundquist and Michael spent yesterday mingling with kids and their families. They tried to make a tough time a bit better, according to the hospital.

Sundquist knows the need for that well. He lost his leg as a child, eventually beating cancer at age 13.

Then he went on to start ski racing. He competed on the national Paralympic ski team in 2006 and still plays for the U.S. Amputee Soccer Team. Along the way, he became a bestselling author and a speaker contracted by Fortune 500 companies and the White House.

Michael, meanwhile, hosts arts-and-crafts nights at PSE&G Children's Specialized Hospital. She won the 2014 Children's Miracle Network Miracle Maker Award.

Dairy Queen launched Miracle Treat Day 13 years ago. Last year, the company raised more than $4 million for children's hospitals.

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