Lena Olivier Named 2022 Children’s Ambassador

This will be a big year for Lena Olivier from Sioux Falls.

The 2-year-old has just been named the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion for Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls. All through 2022, Lena will serve as the face of all children treated at the Castle of Care, the region’s only CMN Hospitals partner, and inspire continued giving to support local kids and their families.

Lena is one of the youngest children to hold this honor, but when you hear her story, you’ll understand why she and her family will be powerful ambassadors.

Lena’s Story


Lena was born 10 weeks early with complete heart block—a congenital disorder that keeps her heart from pumping blood normally on its own. Her tiny body was also swelling from hydrops, another life-threatening condition.

Immediately, Lena was rushed into surgery where a pacemaker was implanted in her chest. She later spent 87 days in the Sanford Children’s Boekelheide NICU.

Today, she’s 2 years old and has already braved five major surgeries. She continues to rely on expert care at the Castle.

It’s a lot for this little girl and her family. But Lena’s mom, Melissa, says they choose to find joy and gratitude in their journey. She’s thankful for her daughter’s life and for people like you who support lifesaving care, close to home.

“We can’t say thank you enough,” Melissa said. “Our family appreciates every dollar that’s donated.”


100% of every gift helps care for local kids


Sanford Children’s Hospital is fueled by generous donors who believe every child deserves a healthy future.

As a nonprofit, 100% of every gift supports the good that is felt and seen in everything from fairytale spaces to lifesaving equipment, family and patient services, research and more. It all adds up to help recruit and retain expert caregivers in 35 pediatric specialties, maintain the most advanced NICU in the Dakotas, and deliver world-class care to 12,000 local children and their families each year.

Give for children