RUMFORD, Maine — For a third year, an anonymous donor rented out all of Black Mountain of Maine in Rumford for a day so families from the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital could have their own day on the slopes.
One hundred thirty-nine patients, families, and medical staff from the hospital signed up Wednesday for a day of free snowboarding and skiing, plus food.
An unknown donor has sent a check each year specifically to create this special day.
The Austin family said they’ve become skiers as a result, and they love spending time with the nurses who cared for their son, Brayden.
Brayden was treated for three months at the hospital for midgut volvulus, his mother, Jennie, said. The health challenge stems from a twisting of the intestines that cost her son all of his small intestine and half of his large intestine.
His father, Adam, sat at the base of the mountain and looked around at the hospital workers who came to spend the day with the families.
"We’ll never forget the time that we spent there and the people that we met," he said. "There are actually nurses here today, skiing with us today, that were deeply involved in Brayden’s care at the time."
Deanna Kersey, a spokesperson for Black Mountain, said they’ve been blown away by the anonymous check each year. However, Kersey noted, if another one doesn’t come, the mountain has been talking with the hospital about fundraising to continue the tradition.