There was one thing that was brighter than 8-year-old Jana Staudenraus’ coral ski jacket and orange helmet as she flew down the mountain at Stevens Pass this weekend on a sit ski: her big smile. As she came to a stop at the bottom of the slope, her family was there cheering, celebrating the first time Jana had ever skied. The exuberant little girl couldn’t wait to do another run. “I want to go again,” she exclaimed. “I want to go fast.”
Another lap down, with her ski instructor tethered behind her, Jana was beaming with joy.
“Did you see me?” Jana asked her mom.
“Yes. You are doing such a great job,” her mother replied.
“I fell once,” Jana said frowning slightly.
“Yes,” her mother said sympathetically. “But just like in life, what do we do when we fall?” she asked warmly. Read full post »
Miguel Navarro is finally getting back to doing what he loves most: driving.
“Driving has always been an escape for me,” said Miguel. “It’s where I feel most at home. When you’re driving, you forget everything else around you.”
Miguel’s family and care team supported him in the grandstands of the speedway. They each adorned a shirt that said, “Miguel’s Pit Crew.”
When he was first diagnosed with cancer, Miguel was told he may never be able to drive again. It was a reality he couldn’t comprehend or accept.
“I knew I’d drive again,” said Miguel. “I always knew I’d get through this.”
He promised himself he’d get behind the wheel again, and recently, he realized that dream in a special way, thanks to Seattle Children’s.
In the grandstands of Pacific Raceways, Miguel’s family, along with his care team, beamed with pride at the sight of Miguel zooming around the race track. Adorning t-shirts that read, “Miguel’s Pit Crew,” they cheered him on. Read full post »
Benjamin (Ben) Bronske recently said goodbye to the legion of Stormtroopers who have been with him since his first small steps. For many parents, a child’s growth is charted by a simple mark etched on a door frame. For Ben, his growth will be commemorated by a different kind of memento, one of resin and carbon fiber.
Ben recently outgrew his first prosthesis and welcomed a new gaggle of fictional Star Wars characters to walk by his side – porgs. Saying farewell to Ben’s first prosthesis wasn’t easy for Sarah Bronske, Ben’s mother. It signified a major milestone. Read full post »
Malia Juarez and her husband were over the moon with excitement when they found out they were pregnant. Their journey to get there hadn’t been an easy one. Juarez suffered from endometriosis, and so heartbreaking words like infertility had been discussed.
They dreamed of the pitter patter of little feet running through their home, and of holding small hands as they embarked on adventures.
They dreamed of that future, until one day, their dream came true.
“She’s a miracle,” said Juarez. Read full post »
Radhika Poppy Ennis is an energetic 4-year-old who loves to laugh, play and dance. But until recently, she was unable to stand or walk on her own.
When Leslie and Jeremy Ennis adopted Radhika from India last year, she had extensive burns on her lower body. She could not straighten or use her left knee and moved around with her arms, dragging her left leg. The family was referred to Dr. Vincent Mosca, an orthopedic surgeon and chief of foot and limb deformities within the Orthopedics and Sports Medicine department at Seattle Children’s. The only option was to amputate Radhika’s lower leg, so that she could get a prosthesis.
In the past year, Radhika has not only learned a new language and way of life. She also underwent surgery and received a shiny blue prosthetic leg.
“Radhika is really determined and resilient,” said Leslie. “She has been through a lot, but from the very beginning she’s been really happy and up for adventure. We were excited for her to be able to run, dance, play with other kids and just to be off the floor and be seen. She loves people and wants to be in the mix so badly.” Read full post »
As a naturally-talented quarterback and cornerback for the Northwest Junior Football League’s North Creek Jaguars, Andrew Ronneberg, 14, participated in the study led by researchers from Seattle Children’s Research Institute exploring concussion in football players ages 5-14.
New research from Seattle Children’s Research Institute and UW Medicine’s Sports Health and Safety Institute found concussion rates among football players ages 5-14 were higher than previously reported, with five out of every 100 youth, or 5%, sustaining a football-related concussion each season.
Published in The Journal of Pediatrics, the study summarizes the research team’s key findings from data collected during two, 10-week fall seasons in partnership with the Northwest Junior Football League (NJFL). Licensed athletic trainers from Seattle Children’s treated and recorded concussion from the sidelines at NJFL games to allow researchers to characterize concussions in this age group – from how often players sustained a head injury to factors that influenced their risk of injury.
“Measuring the incidence of concussion in grade-school and middle-school football players is essential to improving the safety of the game,” said Dr. Sara Chrisman, an investigator in the research institute’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development and lead author on the study. “It’s hard to determine the impact of prevention efforts if we don’t know how often these injuries occur at baseline.” Read full post »
For 13-year-old Zack Edge, playing the drums came naturally ever since he laid his eyes on his very first drum set at 3 years old.
Yet other parts of Zack’s life didn’t come so naturally, such as his ability to stand or walk.
“Zack was born with cerebral palsy,” said his mother Sara Edge, “and over the course of his short lifetime he’s gone through a lot and has had to overcome so much.”
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a condition that affects muscle movement. The muscles of some children with CP are stiff and rigid, which is called spasticity that leads to stiffness in the muscle and joints causing movement to be very difficult.
“It wasn’t until we went to Seattle Children’s that Zack’s life completely changed,” said Edge.
Read full post »
Miguel Navarro, 18, was blindsided by a cancer diagnosis. Today, he’s on the road to recovery.
A single blow to 18-year-old Miguel Navarro’s shoulder turned his world upside down. He was boxing with his friends one afternoon when he felt a snap. He took a hit to his shoulder and immediately knew something was wrong.
“That punch altered my world,” said Miguel.
Miguel went to the emergency room where he found out he fractured his humerus, the long bone in the upper arm. Unfortunately, that wasn’t where his medical journey ended. While undergoing imaging, doctors noticed something amiss, and so Miguel underwent a myriad of tests. At the time, doctors thought what they saw in his imaging results could be a benign tumor.
On Dec. 12, 2017, Miguel was told the tumor wasn’t benign. He had osteosarcoma, an aggressive type of bone cancer. Read full post »
Bretton Chitwood, 18, is an avid hockey player. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2016, but has since returned to the ice. He now plays with a custom prosthesis.
On May 18, 2016, Kara Chitwood and her son Bretton Chitwood traveled from their home in Lynden, Washington, to Seattle Children’s for what they thought would be a routine outpatient appointment to get magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on Bretton’s ankle. Instead, they didn’t end up leaving the hospital. That day would become one they would never forget.
The pain Bretton was experiencing in his ankle was more insidious than they could have ever imagined. Doctors found a mass and said they needed to do a biopsy to determine what it was. One possibility was the unthinkable: cancer. Read full post »
When other kids ask Reid Watkins, 8, about the leg braces he wears, he likes to tell them they help him ‘walk awesome.’
The outgoing third grader was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus at 16 months old. Until undergoing two surgeries over the course of two years at Seattle Children’s, both conditions had limited his ability to walk on his own.
That made taking part in this year’s Hydrocephalus Association Seattle WALK to End Hydrocephalus all the more important to Reid. For the last seven years, the Watkins family has participated in the walk at Magnuson Park as a way to raise awareness about the condition. Read full post »