On the Pulse

Celebrating a Decade of Pediatric Research: Patients and Families Share Stories

What if your child could help unlock a mysterious diagnosis or test a new treatment?

Each year, hundreds of patients participate in research studies conducted by Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Although the focus of the studies varies broadly, they all have one common goal: creating a better future for generations of children.

This year, the research institute celebrated its 10th anniversary. In just one decade, the research team has grown from 40 people to more than 1,500 faculty and staff members conducting groundbreaking research in state-of-the-art labs in three downtown Seattle buildings.

To commemorate this milestone, we interviewed young people and their families who have propelled research on concussions, asthma, Kawasaki disease and other conditions our researchers work on every day. Thanks to the families and young people who contribute to research, Seattle Children’s can improve treatment and care for children’s illnesses around the globe.

Novel Diet Therapy Helps Children With Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Reach Remission

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Lead researcher, Dr. David Suskind, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Seattle Children’s.

Can diet alone be used to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC)? It’s a question Dr. David Suskind, a gastroenterologist at Seattle Children’s, has been researching for years.

Today, he finally has the answer: yes.

In a first-of-its-kind-study led by Suskind, published today in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, diet alone was shown to bring pediatric patients with active Crohn’s and UC into clinical remission.

“This changes the paradigm for how we may choose to treat children with inflammatory bowel disease,” said Suskind. Read full post »

Top 6 Seattle Children’s Blogs of 2016

Bowen Warren, 3, was in the top blog post from 2016. Bowen was born with three heart defects and was brought to Seattle Children’s for emergency surgery.

Every day, extraordinary patients visit Seattle Children’s Hospital and researchers work toward medical breakthroughs at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. From scientific discoveries that make you say ‘wow’ to resilient patients who make you say ‘aww,’ these six blog posts from 2016 struck a chord with readers and were the most popular stories from the year.

1. Born With Three Heart Defects, Bowen is Now Thriving As He Approaches His Third Birthday

The top blog post in 2016 featured Bowen Warren, who was rushed to Seattle Children’s for emergency heart surgery when he was born with three heart defects.

The Heart Center team developed a personalized treatment course for Bowen that included cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, echocardiography and creating a 3-D replica of Bowen’s heart that allowed surgeons to ‘practice’ a complex procedure called a Nikaidoh before getting him in the operating room. Today, Bowen is a happy, healthy and thriving 3-year-old. Read full post »

Amazon Makes Special Deliveries to Seattle Children’s

Gio Caro, 6, helped bring holiday cheer to patients at Seattle Children’s.

The holidays arrived early this year for families at Seattle Children’s and Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC). Amazon brightened the day for patients and families by making one of their largest – and most special – deliveries of the year.

“We so appreciate the important work Seattle Children’s and Odessa Brown does for families in our Seattle community,” said Sam Kennedy, an Amazon spokesperson. “We are proud to give back to such amazing organizations and to put a smile on people’s faces during this special time of year.”

The hospital was filled with excitement as patients and families gathered around a giant Amazon gift box in the inpatient playroom at the hospital. Giomoni (Gio) Caro, 6, a long-time patient at Seattle Children’s, was given the honor of unveiling what was inside the box – a brand new Kindle For Kids Bundle with the latest E-reader for every child in the hospital and a $50 gift card for families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) – and was designated as an “Elf for a Day” to help spread holiday cheer throughout the hospital. Read full post »

7 Tips to Manage Your Child’s Routine During the Holiday Season

Dr. Mollie Greves Grow offers parents several tips and reminders to help foster a peaceful and joyous holiday season for the entire family.

The winter holiday season brings with it much more than wonder and merriment. Weeks and sometimes months of holiday shopping, traveling, food, parties, visits and visitors can create enough stress to exhaust the most festive of us.

Children of all ages feel it, too, especially when their routines are interrupted with an overload of events that are often out of their control. The changes in schedule, though well-intentioned, can impact behaviors and moods.

“In general, we all do better with routines in day-to-day life,” said Dr. Mollie Greves Grow, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Structured routines, even during busy times like the holidays, help parents regulate the emotional and functional changes their children undergo as they develop. Routines help children know what to expect as they go through these changes.” Read full post »

New Trial Hopes to Increase Survival for Kids With Cancer, Reduce Risk of Long Term Cardiac Damage

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Dr. Todd Cooper, director of the Pediatric Leukemia/Lymphoma Program and Evans Family Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer at Seattle Children’s, is leading a new clinical trial for children and adolescents with AML.

Imagine conquering childhood cancer, only to find out that years down the road your heart may fail. Unfortunately, many children who have battled cancer face this reality. While often lifesaving, the effects of chemotherapy treatment (drugs that kill cancer cells) can take a toll on the developing body of a child, potentially resulting in life-threatening late side effects like cardiac damage.

“You go through terrible chemotherapy, achieve remission, have a new lease on life and then your heart fails,” said Dr. Todd Cooper, director of the Pediatric Leukemia/Lymphoma Program and Evans Family Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer at Seattle Children’s. “It’s not fair, and we’re determined to change this reality.” Read full post »

Tweens, Teens and Young Adults Need Checkups Too

When parents get through the early years of teething, toilet training, temper tantrums, early growth spurts and endless viral seasons, they often stop scheduling annual checkups for their child. This is despite guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which recommends one physical checkup and two dental checkups each year through the tween, teen and young adult years.

To understand the importance of these adolescent and young adult wellness visits, Dr. Cora Collette Breuner, chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Adolescence, as well as a pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist at Seattle Children’s, provides the following advice to parents.

“Adolescents are the healthiest population statistically,” said Breuner. “And while that’s true, it’s also true that other than the first year of life, adolescence brings more rapid brain development and physical growth than any other period in an individual’s lifetime. With so many changes taking place, it’s important to work in partnership with your child’s doctor to monitor physical, sexual and emotional health and prevent risky behaviors.” Read full post »

Seahawks Bring Joy to 12s Big and Small at Seattle Children’s

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Reef, 16 months old, poses for a photo with Richard Sherman.

Blue Tuesday at Seattle Children’s was a little more spirited today thanks to a special visit from the Seattle Seahawks players and members of the Sea Gals. Patients and families were all smiles as they got to meet their favorite football players during the team’s annual Captain’s Blitz visit.

“It was so exciting,” said Joanna Gromadzki. Gromadzki’s 16-month-old son, Reef Gromadzki-Johnson, has been a patient since he was 2 months old after he was diagnosed with pulmonary vein stenosis. “Seattle Children’s is like a second home to us, we’ve been here for so long. Today was special. We’re huge fans of the Seahawks!”

The Seahawks visit really brightened the day for Reef and other 12s in the hospital, and brought holiday cheer to some young and loyal fans. Read full post »

Give the Gift of a Healthier Baby: Seattle Children’s Partners on Monthly Subscription With Cricket Crate

Seattle Children’s is partnering with Cricket Crate, a monthly subscription service developed by Kiwi Crate, Inc. that gets babies and parents started on the right path to child health. Proceeds from sales support child health and behavior research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

If there’s a new baby in the family or someone you know is expecting, what better way to show your love than a gift that encourages healthy child development and supports pediatric research? Seattle Children’s is partnering with Cricket Crate, a monthly subscription service developed by Kiwi Crate, Inc. that aims to get babies and parents started on the right path to child health. The monthly boxes include age-appropriate items for newborns and toddlers up to 3 years of age.

Dr. Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, helps design the content of the boxes. Each month, parents receive a package with an age-specific toy or product, a book to read to your baby, a short magazine with tips and an online toolkit. Proceeds from the sales benefit child health and behavior research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Read full post »

Teen Gives Back to the Hospital That Saved His Life

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Skyler, 17, poses with a sock puppet he designed.

When Skyler Hamilton was born, his mother called him her miracle baby. He was perfect.

It wasn’t until he turned 7 years old when the family noticed something wasn’t quite right. What started as a limp quickly progressed into something unimaginable.

Three months later, Skyler was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain tumor, medulloblastoma.

On August 13, 2006, Skyler was admitted to Seattle Children’s. Four days later, he had surgery to have the tumor removed.

“His tumor was so advanced,” said Margaret Hamilton, Skyler’s mom. “It was the worst nightmare you could imagine.” Read full post »