Stories of Potential

Lifeline

Kristina
Rolfes
December 2, 2014
Conquering complex medical conditions together: One family's journey with Kennedy Krieger

Willie BursonTwelve-year-old Willie Burson loves reading, drawing, and playing golf. He’s bright, too, having recently been accepted to a talented youth program. Seeing him today, you’d never guess this was the same boy whom doctors once said might never walk or talk.

Childhood Restored

Christianna
McCausland
December 2, 2014
Activity-based restorative therapies got Penelope back on her feet after a spinal cord injury

Penelope MillerAbout a week after Penelope Miller was born, in July 2012, her parents noticed her leg movement was more frog-like than her older brother’s was when he was a baby, and she didn’t have a strong kick. A visit to the doctor determined that everything was fine. Yet her parents, Tim and Heather, remained concerned. The family continued to visit doctors, and Penelope seemed to get stronger.

Back from Near-Death

December 2, 2014
Five years ago, Charnira was on life support and expected to remain in a vegetative state. Now 15, she is full of vitality, thanks to a brain injury program that helps non-responsive patients emerge into consciousness.

Charnira BerryNo one could have known that day how 10-year-old Charnira Berry’s life would be dramatically altered—or just how close she would come to struggling for survival. Her family was getting ready to go out, and while her father and siblings bustled around her, Charnira remained on the couch, sleeping. When her family was unable to rouse her, they realized something was seriously wrong.

Christian Thomas: Zen & The Art of Healing

Christianna
McCausland
December 2, 2014
One patient’s journey from diagnosis to top of the dojo

Where Are They Now?

Christian Thomas

Journey to Safety

Jenn
Lynn
August 1, 2014
A mother’s emotional journey to find help for her son with autism leads her to Kennedy Krieger Schools.

JacobThe year my son was in the third grade, I didn’t eat. I never left my phone, even to take a shower. Jake, who has autism, was scared to go to school and totally unhinged once he got there—running in circles, biting his hand, melting down. Desks would fly if one thing went wrong.

The Fight of His Life

Kristina
Rolfes
August 1, 2014
After a brain tumor blindsided Kokayi and left him without the ability to walk, talk, or even swallow, he fought to get his life back.

Kokayi Thomas with his motherFifteen-year-old Kokayi Thomas had always been healthy and athletic, until last November when he started complaining of weakness in his right arm and leg.

In My Own Words: Marshall Garber

November 13, 2013
When a spinal cord mass left him paralyzed, Marshall’s life changed forever. It changed again during an adaptive ski trip arranged by Kennedy Krieger.

Marshall Garber

Marshall Garber is a patient at Kennedy Krieger’s International Center for Spinal Cord Injury.

The Comeback Kid

by Abigail
Green
November 13, 2013
The Neurobehavioral Unit at Kennedy Krieger helps turn around a young boy with self-injurious and aggressive behavior.

Luke McNair happyChrissy McNair describes her son Luke, 13, as “one of the happiest kids I’ve ever met.” He usually wakes up in a good mood and likes cracking jokes with his two brothers. He loves Top-40 music and animals, and has been riding horses since he was 3 years old. “The best word for him is passionate,” says his mother.

Beating the Pain

by Kristina
Rolfes
November 12, 2013
After multiple doctors could not help relieve her suffering from pain so severe she could no longer walk, Katie Bickford sought help at Kennedy Krieger’s Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program and today, she has her life back.

Katie Bickford truckKatie Bickford remembers the pain starting in the 7th grade—it began in her spine and radiated out all over her body. The pain got so bad she couldn’t walk. To make matters worse, she fractured her heel, and then her arm, so it hurt to use crutches.

Stronger

by Kristina
Rolfes
November 12, 2013
After cancer and chemotherapy left her so fragile doctors said she might never walk again, Perry found her strength with the help of Kennedy Krieger’s Specialized Transition Program.

Perry ZimmermanAt the tender age of 13, Perry Zimmerman has already battled a lifetime’s worth of illnesses. Born with retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer, Perry developed a related brain tumor at age two that doctors did not expect her to survive.

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