Inspiring Moments | WYPR

Inspiring Moments

Inspiring Moments is made possible by Kennedy Krieger Institute, an internationally known, non-profit organization located in the greater Baltimore/Washington, D.C. region that transforms the lives of more than 25,000 individuals a year through inpatient and outpatient medical, behavioral health and wellness therapies, home and community services, school-based programs, training and education for professionals and advocacy.

Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children, adolescents and adults with diseases, disorders or injuries that impact the nervous system, ranging from mild to severe. The Institute is home to a team of investigators who contribute to the understanding of how disorders develop, while at the same time pioneer new interventions and methods of early diagnosis, prevention and treatment. The generous support of many, including the listeners of WYPR, help fund the life-changing services they provide to so many. Visit to support or for more information about Kennedy Krieger. 

Click here to learn more about ways to support our mission or call 443-923-7300.
Click here to learn more about our programs and services or request an appointment, or call 888-554-2080.

Kennedy Krieger Institute
707 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
Phone: 443-923-9200

"Yes I Can" All-Star

Feb 3, 2021
Provided by Kennedy Krieger Institute

Josie was diagnosed with spina bifida, a condition where the spinal cord protrudes outside the body, while still in her mother’s womb. Dr. Sarah Korth met her parents as they navigated the very difficult decision about whether to have risky prenatal surgery to potentially improve Josie’s life.  Listen to the inspiring story about this family’s journey.

Elliott’s Zeal For Life

Jan 6, 2021
Photo of a young man in a tuxedo
Provided by Kennedy Krieger Institute

Elliott was born with Down syndrome, which has created some difficulties in his life. But this charming, energetic young man has not let that diagnosis stop him. Elliott lives life to the fullest through his participation as a Special Olympics athlete and starring in his many videos. Listen to hear how Ellicott has inspired Dr. Carmen Lopez Arvizu.

A Passion For Giving Leads To A Joyful Reunion

Dec 2, 2020
Provided by Kennedy Krieger Institute

A mutual passion for Kennedy Krieger reunited two families after 40 years. Orlee Engler Kahn, director of planned giving at Kennedy Krieger, had a front row seat to their joyful reunion. Listen to their story.

Festival Of Trees

Nov 11, 2020
Provided by Kennedy Krieger Institute

Kennedy Krieger’s iconic Festival of Trees event could have been sidelined because of COVID. But, especially this year, families need uplifting entertainment to enjoy together Thanksgiving weekend. Listen to the inspiring commitment of those whose support will make this year’s virtual event a reality. 

An Inspiration To Young And Old Alike

Oct 7, 2020
Provided by Kennedy Krieger Institute

Maintaining a positive attitude when you are a high school student who has had to endure multiple surgeries, as well as a brain injury, sounds like a difficult challenge. However, for Ronen, being positive and encouraging others is just part of his personality. While undergoing physical therapy at Kennedy Krieger’s Specialized Transition Program after several surgeries to repair injuries to his feet and ankles, Ronen inspired his fellow patients and therapists with his work ethic and enthusiastic attitude.

Resilience And Determination: Ryleigh's Story

Sep 2, 2020
Provided by Kennedy Krieger Institute

Ryleigh is a determined five-year-old who has worked hard over the past year to reverse the effects of acute flaccid myelitis, including paralysis. She has about twelve hours of therapy a week, which is a lot for a little girl. In honor of Physical Therapy Month, Ryleigh’s physical therapist, Lia Brunn shares a story about this inspiring little girl.

Jaidyn's Story: Overcoming A Reading Disorder

Aug 5, 2020
Robert Kneschke / Adobe Stock

Middle school, homework, and all the changes that adolescence brings can be overwhelming for any 13-year-old boy. However, imagine that you are unable to read like your peers. You become upset at the thought of reading in front of others and you have never been able to read anything for pleasure. Hear how Jaidyn, working with a Kennedy Krieger speech language specialist, is learning how to overcome his reading disorder through hard work, professional guidance and dedication. 

Spirit, Grit, And Humor: Ellie's Story

Jul 8, 2020
Rachel Morgan, provided by Kennedy Krieger Institute

Imagine starting your teenage years by facing yet another surgery. And this time the surgery is to attach metal frames--that will stay in place for six months--to each of your legs, followed by three months in the hospital for intensive physical and occupational therapies. That's what Ellie faced in 2018 when she was just 13 years old. Listen to Ellie's physical therapist, Heather McLean, tell of Ellie's spirit, grit and determination--and above all--her sense of humor.

Autism Is No Match For Jake

Jun 3, 2020
Zach Chilsolm via Flicker (CC BY 2.0)

Kelly Anastaci, a special educator at Kennedy Krieger’s Montgomery County School, tells Dr. Jacqueline Stone about a student who refuses to be limited by his diagnosis with autism spectrum disorder and how he is helping others understand those with autism better. 

Val’s Story: Overcoming Obstacles To Thrive

May 6, 2020
lePhotography via Flickr

Val was born at 23 weeks and 5 days gestation and spent 120 days in the NICU. As a result, she struggled throughout her life with what she calls “invisible disabilities.” Today, Val is a dynamic college student who majors in music and has presented on Tedx Youth Talks about her journey. Listen to Kennedy Krieger pediatric neurologist Dr. Joanna Burton as she shares Val’s remarkable story.

Becoming His Best Self

Apr 8, 2020
Photo provided by family

When Marcus first came to Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger, he was a two-year-old boy who wasn’t speaking and would run laps around the furniture at home for hours at a time. After being diagnosed with autism, Marcus started therapy at the Center for Autism and joined our achievements program. Today, years later, Marcus is a friendly and social young man. In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, Melanie Pinkett-Davis, Clinical Director for the Center for Autism shares his inspiring story.

Healing From Brain Injury

Mar 4, 2020
Photo provided by family

Life can change in an instant. That is what happened to Purnell after being injured while crossing the street. As a result, Purnell had to relearn everything,  including how to walk, talk and eat. Through very hard work with his therapists at Kennedy Krieger Institute and his own determination, today Purnell is a typical teenager looking forward to his junior prom. In recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month, we are inspired by patients like Purnell who have overcome so much.

Providing Inspiration From Tragedy

Feb 5, 2020
Watercolor Concept / Adobe Stock

It takes tremendous effort to come to terms with the death of a child, an event that no parent can ever truly move beyond. Dr. Connie Smith-Hicks talks about Liz, who, inspired by the memory of her daughter Tory, honors her by reaching out and supporting parents of children with a diagnosis of Rett syndrome.

A Young Woman With Heart And Tenacity

Jan 8, 2020
Maxwell Monty / Adobe Stock

Abigail has conquered life-threatening health issues that would sideline many people.  When her failing health pushed her to depression, she and her family turned to experts for help.  Listen to her inspiring story told by Dr. Bradley Grant, one of her doctors and a child psychiatrist at Kennedy Krieger’s Psychiatric Mental Health Program. 

An Artist Emerges From Chaos

Dec 2, 2019

Dr. Brad Schlaggar, president and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute, shares a heartwarming story about a mother’s perseverance in helping her son, a young teen with severe autism who blossoms into a talented artist after receiving treatment for his harmful behaviors. Watch a video here about Nick’s journey. 

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words

Nov 6, 2019

A struggling, young, homeless mother learns self-confidence and how to be a better parent through a photo story book project. Listen to this inspiring story by Kim Cosgrove at Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Therapeutic Nursery about how a special program helped a mom and baby find much needed stability and hope for the future.  

Shannon’s Strength Shines Through!

Oct 1, 2019

At Kennedy Krieger Institute, Shannon gets the treatment she needs to stay healthy and start her journey towards medical school. Listen to her physical therapist Chris Joseph talk about how Shannon, despite having osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, is charting a path forward to realizing her dream of being a neonatologist. 

Carrying The Message To Others

Sep 4, 2019

Imagine losing your father to an incurable genetic disorder when you are just a child and then finding out that you carry the same genetic condition that could be passed on to your kids, and effect your life, too.  Listen to how Taylor, now a young woman, has turned her personal adversity into advocacy for research for a cure and inspiration to others to never give up.

Changing The Course For A Positive Impact

Aug 7, 2019
Adobe Stock

Adverse experiences in a child’s younger years often have negative impact on that child’s future, but with proper help, there is hope.  

Listen to Dan Hoover share the story of Da’quan who realized that with support and assistance from his foster family and caring therapy from his therapists at the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress at Kennedy Krieger Institute, he could have a bright future, despite his early traumatic experiences. 

Kwami's Success Story

Jul 3, 2019

Seventeen years after Miss Debbie, a foster parent, took a chance on a 10 year-old boy who had been to 11 different foster placements. Today that same young man is now a father and husband himself, and helps other potential foster parents understand boys like he once was.

Conquering Pain

Jun 5, 2019
Kennedy Kreiger via Adobe Stock

“We got our Jackie back!”  That was the sentiment of Jackie’s parents after their daughter had been treated for chronic pain at the Kennedy Krieger Institute Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Clinic. With an interdisciplinary team approach to treatment, Jackie learned how to manage her pain and to get back to the things she loves.  

Adaptive Sports Makes a Positive Impact on Samantha

May 1, 2019
Adobe Stock

Gerry Herman, co-director of the Bennett Institute for Physically Challenged Sports Program at Kennedy Krieger Institute, shares how Samantha went from being a shy six-year-old when she first started in the program to a confident, 17-year-old accomplished athlete who is going to college on a scholarship to play wheelchair basketball.   

Brilliant at Chess, Champion in Life!

Apr 3, 2019
Kennedy Krieger

Yuva is a nationally-ranked chess player, an excellent student and a scientific researcher who also has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.  Hear how he inspires Dr. Kathryn Wagner, his physician at Kennedy Krieger Institute’s center for muscle disorders, with his remarkable tenacity, fortitude and drive and by the contributions he’s making to research for new treatments for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Once the Patient, Now the Teacher

Mar 1, 2019
Kennedy Krieger

Dr. Beth Slomine shares a story about Amy Dykes, a former patient who had a large tumor removed from her brain when she was 18.  Now fully recovered, Amy applies the lessons she learned as a patient to teaching students with learning differences at Kennedy Krieger’s Fairmount school.

Rare Determination

Jan 9, 2019
Kennedy Krieger

Hear how Kristin, and her mom, refused to except dire prognoses about Kristin’s medical challenges and went on to defy the limitations that others predicted.

Bringing the world together for a cure

Dec 6, 2018
Kennedy Krieger

At this holiday season, we are inspired by two families who have joined together, from different corners of the globe, to combat the rare disease afflicting their children. Leslie Marsiglia from Kennedy Krieger’s philanthropy group shares how the McGinns from the D.C. area, and the Fergusons from New Zealand, have partnered to raise money to help Kennedy Krieger Institute find a cure for LBSL, the potentially fatal genetic disorder that both Ellie and Marco are battling.

Decorating for a Cause

Nov 7, 2018
Kennedy Krieger

Making the Leap from School to Work

Oct 3, 2018
Kennedy Krieger

Aaron Parsons, vice president of special education at Kennedy Krieger Schools, shares his pride and excitement about Lauryn, a young woman who has successfully made the transition from special education student to committed, hard-working intern through a special program called Project SEARCH that trains young people with special needs to enter the workforce.

Determination and Defying the Odds!

Sep 5, 2018

Dr. Erin Michael, with Kennedy Krieger’s International Center for Spinal Cord Injury recounts her experiences with Jerry, an inspiring patient who defies the odds by competing as part of Team Kennedy Krieger in the 26.2 mile, handcycling marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival. Go Jerry!