There is no better person to share their experience about Dayton Children’s than a child or teenager who is a patient. Throughout the year, these Dayton Children’s “ambassadors” attend fundraising opportunities and media events to benefit the hospital.
Zach Meredith’s life changed dramatically when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2011. Instead of enjoying summer vacation with family and friends, he had to endure chemotherapy, scary injections, frequent hospitalizations and so much more. But through it all, Zach’s sunny personality inspired everyone around him. Whether he was singing pop songs in the hospital corridor with a friend, playing checkers with a nurse or selling lemonade to support Dayton Children’s, Zach was letting everyone know: his cancer wasn’t here to stay.
Alex Hilgeford was born with a rare condition that made it impossible for him to straighten his right leg. That didn’t slow him down, though—not in the back yard, not on the baseball field, not on family camping trips. As Alex grew, his orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Michael Albert, worked tirelessly to correct the birth defect, using a combination of surgeries, external devices and physical therapy. Nothing worked, and in 2009, Alex and his parents made the tough decision to amputate. Now, with a prosthetic leg he calls Fred, Alex is unstoppable.
When Elizabeth Romer was a baby, she was diagnosed with Sotos syndrome, a genetic condition that causes physical overgrowth in the first years of life, often accompanied by delayed motor, cognitive, and social development and low muscle tone and speech impairment. After receiving care at Dayton Children's for 15 years, the now 18-year-old Elizabeth has become a young lady who is able to overcome her difficulties and embodies a strong positive attitude that shines through her winning smile.
Marcus Harrison dreams to become a doctor one day. But this isn't just because of his love for math and science - he is also inspired by his own condition. As a baby, Marcus was diagnosed with hemophilia. Now, shots and medication are an everyday normal, but Marcus doesn't let his condition stop him from having a normal teenage life and helping patients like himself one day - all with a confident smile!
A headache on the playground turned into several months of recovery. At 9 years old, Amanda suffered from a burst arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in her brain. After surgery, being placed in a coma, and physical therapy, Amanda is back to her spunky ways.
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