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2024 Champion Children

Kennedy
Age 6
Kennedy
Age 6

Treated at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, MA.

The joy of Kennedy’s birth changed to fear when she stopped feeding and her oxygen levels dropped. After six weeks with no answers at a local hospital, Kennedy’s parents drove 90 minutes to Boston Children’s Hospital, where extensive testing revealed Kennedy had a rare condition where her weak trachea could collapse to block the airway, making it hard to breathe. Her doctor explained that Kennedy needed a tracheotomy to keep her airway stable. After 136 days at Boston Children’s, nine-month-old Kennedy was able to go home. The care team helped the family understand how to access benefits for children with complex medical needs, including the care of an at-home nurse. Six years later, Kennedy visits Boston Children’s for check-ups and is making great progress, working toward being able to walk on her own. Kennedy is a proud big sister and loves music and seeing her friends at school.

Donations to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals supported Kennedy over her 136 days of care with Child Life Specialists, music therapy, and visits from therapy dogs.

Maelle
Age 14
Maelle
Age 14

Treated at Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora, CO.

At age 4, Maelle began to complain that her head hurt and her eyes started crossing. Doctors discovered a three-centimeter mass in her brain and immediately sent the family to Children’s Hospital Colorado where Maelle had a biopsy.

Doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado diagnosed Maelle with a non-cancerous pilocytic astrocytoma. Due to the tumors’ precarious location, it was deemed inoperable. After careful consideration, Maelle’s family and care team decided to shrink the tumor with chemotherapy. After seven months of chemotherapy, the tumor had shrunk significantly, and they were able to cease treatment and return to normal life.

For two years, Maelle enjoyed life outside of the hospital and became an avid volleyball player. But unfortunately, during a routine check-up, doctors discovered that Maelle’s tumor had started growing again. In January of 2021, Maelle began a new experimental treatment to help reduce the growth of the tumor. Maelle continued to remain in the best of spirits and came off the treatment in February of 2023.

Whilst the treatment saw limited success, she has been off all medication since. Maelle continues to visit Children’s Hospital Colorado to monitor the tumors’ progress and is excited to start high school next year! The family has hope in the groundbreaking research being conducted at Children’s Hospital Colorado to find new treatments and therapies for kids like Maelle.

“Words can’t describe what Children’s Colorado means to us,” says her mom, Kristen. “A hospital isn’t a place where most people would choose to be. And yet, I always feel at ease here, knowing that our daughter is getting the best care available. They are nothing short of amazing.”

Thanks to donations to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Maelle benefits from groundbreaking research being conducted by her local member hospital.

Landon
Age 12
Landon
Age 12

Treated at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, CA.

A soccer super fan, Landon played whenever he could and scored seven goals in just one game. Things took a turn when eight-year-old Landon couldn’t run the length of the field without losing his breath. He was rushed to Rady Children’s Hospital, where it was discovered he had a mass that spanned his entire chest, collapsing his lung and putting pressure on his heart and kidneys. Landon was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and the stage 4 cancer had spread throughout his body. He faced a host of challenging procedures, including draining fluids from his lungs, a chest tube installation, a pic line installation, a bone marrow aspiration, and a lumbar puncture. Due to the severity of his condition, Landon could not be put under anesthesia, intensifying how excruciating these procedures were for Landon and his family. Luckily, the Child Life and Parent Liaison teams stepped in to provide peace and comfort to his family when they needed it most. Landon’s initial diagnosis came in the fall of 2020, which meant that he spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year in the hospital, under strict isolation protocol. After three long years of hospital stays and frequent visits, Landon had his port removed and plans to finish his treatment with the use of an IV. This year, he will conclude his cancer treatment, and get to return to the sports and activities he loves.

Donations to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals supported Landon and his family with Child Life and Parent Liaison programs to offer comfort as he battled cancer.

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