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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Dr. Jen Reesman from the Kennedy Krieger Deafness Evaluation and More clinic shares a story about Dr. Danielle Previ, a Kennedy Krieger trainee, PhD and graduate of Gallaudet University who is deaf and inspires patients who are also deaf or hard of hearing, and their families, by being a living example of all that can be accomplished.
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Sherry Fisher, a Kennedy Krieger Institute child life and therapeutic recreation special programs staff member, shares a special memory of how the affection and attention of a therapy dog made a long hospital stay better for a Native American boy far from home, and his family.
A staff member from Kennedy Krieger’s PACT Therapeutic Day Care Center tells how an apprehensive new staff member learned a valuable life lesson from a little boy who refused to be limited by his disability.
We’re honoring Nurses Week with one of thousands of stories about our patients and their families as told by nurse Lisa Trotta, who works in our hospital and cares for children with brain, spinal cord and other serious neurological injuries. Lisa has been a nurse at Kennedy Krieger Institute for more than 30 years. Michael was a seriously injured 12 year old boy who was determined to recover and get back to his life. Lisa and Michael’s care team were determined to help. It’s children like Michael, and their families, that inspire us every day.
We salute all nurses, and especially those who care for children. Thank you for all you do.
A brain injury can happen to a child in a matter of seconds, changing their life forever. Dr. Stacy Suskauer from Kennedy Krieger’s Center for Brain Injury Recovery shares a story about Ben, a boy whose life changed in an instant at the age of 10 when a car struck the bike he was riding. Hear how Ben was determined to play a sport he loves again, and have a college life, despite a traumatic brain injury.
Greg is a young adult who, as a teen, was diagnosed at Kennedy Krieger with a rare, currently incurable, neurogenetic disorder. Greg has turned his adversity into motivation to help others.
Dr. Ali Fatemi, Director of Kennedy Krieger’s Division of Neurogenetics, shares how Gregg is educating physicians about rare disorders like his and encouraging families to seek diagnoses from experts, like those at Kennedy Krieger.