Cindy Crawford Helps Christen New Banner Children's Hospital in Mesa

A group of brave kids stepped up to the conference room platform to reveal the new name of the children's hospital at Banner Health Desert Medical Center by flipping over cards with letters spelling out "ardon."

But where was the "C," for Mesa developer and $10 million contributor Wil Cardon?

They had two in the form of super model Cindy Crawford.

Crawford, 43, took the podium during a ceremony for the new facility to share her own source of inspiration: To pursue better healthcare for children. Her brother died of leukemia at age 4.

"It is encouraging to know that 30 years later the type of leukemia he died from is now 90 percent curable," she said. "So I think sometimes we raise money and make donations and we think that it's not going to make a difference, and it doesn't maybe in the short term, but it does. We are saving lives. We are making a difference."

In honor of the Cardon family's generosity, the new center will be called the Cardon Children's Medical Center. The facility has homes so families can stay with their children and educational facilities to keep kids studying while they recover.

Patients and staff of the original children's facility, housed in the Desert Medical Center, will move to a new seven-story tower by November 2, 2009, according to the Banner Health Web site.


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Jonathan McNamara