Freeman News

Champion Child Creates Unique Pin Designs for National Event

November 02, 2015

Freeman Health System, the area’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, supports Missouri Champion Child Yszabehl Stauffer as she uses her artistic abilities to help others.

JOPLIN, Mo. – Freeman Health System, the area’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, supports Missouri Champion Child Yszabehl Stauffer as she uses her artistic abilities to help others. The 13-year-old Neosho resident designed four lapel pins – an owl, a butterfly, a peacock and a flower – and asks the public to vote on one to represent Missouri at the national level.

“Art connects with so many people,” said Heather Lesmeister, Freeman Assistant Director of Development and External Relations. “Like her drawings, Yszabehl is colorful and full of life. You can truly see the joy in her heart.” 

Each year, Champion Children and their families take national trips as ambassadors to highlight the vital work of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Yszabehl and her family visited Washington, D.C., in June where she forged new friendships and shared her story of medical victory. This February in Florida, each child will exchange special lapel pins from their state with other Champions. Yszabehl chose to create her lapel pin, but couldn’t settle on one design.

“I love drawing,” said Yszabehl. “I’m inspired by artwork I see, and I make it my own. I never know what the finished piece will look like.” 

Voting is open online at through November 13. The winning design will be made into a lapel pin for Yszabehl to trade at Disney World in February.

During Wine, Women & Shoes, held August 29, a painting by Yszabehl sold for $1,000. She has also created pieces for individual and business donors. All money raised went to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and will stay local.

“I love using my drawings to raise awareness for other kids like me and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals,” said Yszabehl. “If I can help just one kid, it’s worth it.”

Yszabehl was born in 2002 with a congenital facial deformity and has endured eight facial reconstruction surgeries. In 2009, she was diagnosed with van der Woude syndrome, which is a condition that affects the development of the face. Despite the medical challenges, Yszabehl’s spirit remains high.

“Yszabehl demonstrates compassion and wisdom beyond her years,” said Lesmeister. “I have never seen a child so compelled to reach out to those around her. This amazing young lady has no limitations.”

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals provides assistance to children from birth to 21 years of age in a 14-county area in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. All money raised stays local, helping children and their families. Children’s Miracle Network helps furnish and maintain the Freeman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, provides funding for local community organizations pediatric needs and provides pediatric emergency equipment for area agencies.

Freeman Health System – Celebrating 90 Years of Service
Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2014, Freeman earned 90 individual awards for medical excellence and safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report ranked Freeman #1 Hospital in Southwest Missouri in 2014-15, and The Leapfrog Group gave Freeman the highest grade possible in the Fall 2014 Hospital Safety Score. With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 60 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit or or follow Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker at #FreemanTurns905