OUR MIRACLE CHILDREN
We dance for the miracles we can make in the lives of Baystate patients.
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When Shane was born, he was rushed into the Davis Neonatal Intensive Unit (NICU) where his parents were notified he had Down Syndrome. After several days in the NICU, he was released to go home, where his parents learned to manage his at-home monitoring system and oxygen tanks with the helpful assistance of the NICU staff. Three months later, Shane contracted RSV and was treated in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit while on a ventilator for 14 days. "Baystate Children's Hospital saved my boy twice and I am forever grateful for them," says Shane's mother, Jessica. Today, nine-year old Shane, as he supports other patients as the 2019 CHildren's Miracle Network Hospital Champion.
When seven year old Ben was a toddler, he would routinely announce, "When I grow up, I'm going to be a superhero. For a disguise, I'll be a doctor!" His mother, Kati, had no way of knowing that in a matter of years, Ben would need superhero strength in an unimaginable battle: cancer. Ben was diagnosed on December 4, 2015 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and immediately began a treatment regimen that included different types of chemotherapy such as lumbar punctures, IV infusions, and at-home medication. Ben's battle continues, but his family is focused on being positive, which serves to reaffirm Ben's courage. Kati says he will often remind his family that, "Leukemia is tough. But I'm tougher!"
At two years old, Morgan was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. "It started with a cold, then an ear infection that wouldn't go away, she just kept getting more pale, weaker, and sicker," said Laura, Morgan's mother. "Her pediatrician said this wasn't normal and sent her for blood work. It wasn't 24 hours before she was admitted to BCH and diagnosed with leukemia," she added. After two and a half years of chemotherapy, "Momo" received her last treatment and celebrated with her family. Today, she is cancer-free and living life like a happy, healthy girl.
At three years old, Gio was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma Stage IV and spent most of his childhood between treatments and doctors’ appointments at Baystate Children’s Hospital. At age three, Gio received a stem transplant. He finished his chemotherapy treatment in 2012 and had a special cancer-free birthday party to celebrate! He likes to tell people, “Don’t give up, there is hope and faith, and I went through it!”
Carmelina, or "Lina", and her twin brother Giovanni were born at 36 weeks. Lina suffered from oxygen depravation and was later diagnosed with an intellectual disability from the umbilical cord around her neck. From there, Lina had spinal surgery for tethered cord syndrome at 18 months, and then later spent a lot of time at Baystate to control her epilepsy. At five, she was diagnosed with "failure to thrive", a condition indicating insufficient weight gain or loss. With Baystate's help, Lina was diagnosed with 16P11.2 duplication disorder, a gene condition that explains her seizures, speech delay, autism tattered cord, "failure to thrive", and short stature. Despite her challenges, Lina has always found a way to give back, help others, and inspire those around her.
When Evie was born, doctors discovered she had been born with microcephaly, which is enlarged ventricles in her brain. This caused other complications as a baby and she spent time in the NICU as a result. Thanks to the care she and her family received from Baystate, today Evie is a graduate of the NICU and was recently released from neurosurgery!