Miracle Treat Day Helps Local Miracle Family

Local Duluth Dairy Queens who participate in Miracle Treat Day benefit Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.

DULUTH, Minn. – People will find any excuse to eat some ice cream, and they had the perfect excuse to on Thursday for Dairy Queen’s Miracle Treat Day. And even though everyone loves splurging on a Blizzard, this annual event means a lot more than just the sweet treat.

And for one local family, having people participate in Miracle Treat Day means a lot to them.

The Ruud family has been involved with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) for the past 13 years. Their son, Michael, was born with Apert syndrome, an extremely rare condition that deals with bone structure. Michael has been going to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare since he was two months old, and had his first surgery there at just five months old. Now at 13, he’s had almost 30 surgeries to work on the bone structure in his fingers, toes and head.

“Our first appointment at Gillette, Michael was two months old, and his first surgery at Gillette was when he was five months old,” Michael’s dad Mike Sr. said.

Gillette is just one of the 170 hospitals part of the Children’s Miracle Network, which is what Miracle Treat Day benefits. For every blizzard purchased, at least $1 is donated to the local CMN Hospital. Since starting in 1984, Dairy Queen has raised more than $130 million for CMN Hospitals, and last year, Duluth area Dairy Queens raised almost $300,000 for Gillette.

“It’s not only for kids, but it’s for kids with any type of injury, or problem in their lives, they can come in and get it taken care of. It’s not just CP or MS, it’s everything out there, so that’s why we got involved,” Pike Lake Dairy Queen owner Tom Lapinski said as to why he does so much for the hospitals. 

Buying blizzards on Miracle Treat Day helps give kids like Michael the chance to live normal and do what they love, and Michael says he loves to play PlayStation and ride his bike.

Although Miracle Treat Day helps thousands of kids across the country, going to the Dairy Queens here in Duluth on Thursday made a huge difference to the Ruud’s and other local miracle families.

“It’s putting a face to someone local, whether it’s our family or other families and letting those local dairy queens know that this isn’t just for the national event, this is to help the local folks that you probably see everyday or probably see in and out in different situations. To help not only put a face to who you’re trying to help but to also go out and thank them for participating in miracle treat day and that it does make a difference in children’s lives,” Michael Sr. said. 

You can learn more about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the work that Gillette does by visiting the CMN national website. 

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