Our inspiring patients are the reason the 31-Day Challenge was created and why we continue to strive toward creating a breakthrough for every child in our care. You can choose to have your fundraising dollars support a specific area of the Hospital that is meaningful to you.
Gabriel was a mere 1.9 pounds when he was born 13 weeks early. His prematurity left him with cerebral palsy — and gave him a second family at CHOP. For 18 years, Gabriel has benefited from the multidisciplinary Cerebral Palsy Clinic. “They ask us what we think the goals should be and pull together a care plan that’s best for Gabe,” says his mother, Savine, who appreciates CHOP’s family-focused, personalized, comprehensive and convenient care.
Newborn screening revealed that Jaxson, 2, had cystic fibrosis, and he’s been followed ever since by CHOP’s Cystic Fibrosis Center. Managing his condition includes frequent chest physical therapy and a strict diet. He was later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. His mother, Christina, praises his care team’s diligence: “Because of CHOP’s rigorous care, Jaxson was able to be diagnosed and treated at the most crucial time in his early development.”
Logan and his twin sister, Riley, were born prematurely. Riley went home first, but Logan, at 1.5 pounds, had multiple issues, including chronic lung disease. He was transferred to CHOP, where he was treated for several months. During follow-up visits, “We always hope to run into therapy pups and enjoy stopping by the Seacrest Studios to see what fun art project or show they are hosting,” says his mother, Becca. Today Logan, 4, and his family live in Hawaii, and he loves swimming and playing with his twin.
Sienna, 9, loves softball, piano, singing, acting and hanging out with friends. These days, she enjoys spending time virtually with friends playing Roblox. She has encopresis, a gastrointestinal motility disorder. With medical and behavioral therapy at CHOP, including biofeedback, “We have come so far,” says her mother, Jess, “making her happier, healthier and more confident.” When she’s at CHOP, Sienna loves to choose from the cafeteria’s sushi selection.
When he was 2, Will was diagnosed with a rare neurodegenerative mitochondrial disease called Leigh syndrome. “Since there is no treatment, it is imperative that he be followed by experts,” says his mother, Kasey. The Texas-based family travels to CHOP, where Will’s symptoms get assessed and he participates in research studies. Now 9, he loves football, basketball and hockey and plays on the Miracle League baseball team.
Champions 2020 & Earlier
When Brian was born, doctors couldn’t figure out what was making him so sick. After coding twice and being resuscitated by his mother, Brian was transferred to CHOP where specialists correctly diagnosed his rare endocrine system disorder and began treatment to manage his symptoms. Brian’s family credits CHOP for saving his life. Today, 3-year-old Brian sees several specialists at CHOP and visits more than 15 times a year for regular appointments.
From the moment Charlie was born, he had trouble breathing. His family turned to CHOP’s Newborn and Infant Chronic Lung Disease Program for answers. With the program’s specialized care and coordinated approach, Charlie grew strong enough to finally go home. Today, the 2½-year-old is thriving.
Diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at a year old, Claire didn’t have the strength to speak or feed herself. With the help of a breakthrough drug, physical therapy and her healthcare team at CHOP, she can now crawl, stand and walk – and is gaining strength each day.
Born with serious heart defects and a rare craniofacial condition, 15-year-old Emily has endured more than 30 surgeries in her life. Through it all, she has tried to remain positive, keep fighting and teach kindness. Last year, she and her 31-Day Challenge team, Merrill Crew, completed 3,026 miles to support kids at CHOP!
When Johanna was being treated for leukemia at CHOP, her mom noticed massage therapy was offered to kids as they waited, and it seemed to calm them. Now that Johanna, 9, is in remission, she and her mom are working to help other patients get the same benefits from integrative health practices like massage.
Joey was born with multiple disabling and rare genetic conditions that impacted every aspect of his life. Overwhelmed, confused and scared, his family brought him to CHOP and discovered a level of support and hope they didn’t know existed. “In a world that seemed to present our son with closed doors and dead ends, CHOP opened those doors and guided us down the right path,” says his mom Laura.
Diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot before he was even born, Owen was carefully monitored at CHOP. At five months old, he received heart surgery and recovered quickly. But when he was 2 years old, Owen contracted RSV and needed further care from the Cardiac Center at CHOP. Today, Owen is an active and personable 4-year-old with boundless energy.