Inspiring Stories

One family's autism journey
The Maloni Boys

Dominic Maloni could not have been a better baby. He was quiet and easy going. In his first year of life, he met all of the usual milestones sitting up, speaking his first words, walking.

At 13 months, he could organize his toy cars in a line from smallest to largest. He could even figure out a puzzle designed for a four-year-old in just two minutes. Still, he wouldn't look his mother in the eye or turn around when his parents called his name. "On one hand, we wondered, Is he a genius?'" remembers Jennifer Maloni, Dominic's mother. "On the other hand, he was too little to be purposely ignoring us."

Hugo Moser's widow Ann leads ALD screening efforts in newborns
Jose Casso Drinking Lorenzo's Oil

Ramón and Maritza Casso loved their first born son, Juan, with all of their hearts. Like many parents they wanted far more for him than they wanted for themselves. And when their second son, José, arrived seven years later, they felt the same way. 

A family's generosity helps advance care for hundreds of children and adults with spina bifida.
The Keelty Family

Less than 24 hours after he was born, Philip Keelty had his first major surgery an operation to repair the hole in his spinal column that defines his birth disorder, spina bifida.

Before Philip turned four, doctors installed a shunt to carry cerebral fluid from his brain to his spine and performed corrective surgery to allow him to walk with only a slight limp. 

Father's Memoir of His Daughters Courageous Journey
Hillary with Maureen van Stone

At nine years old, Hillary Reston developed a dangerous energy her father describes as "positively thermonuclear." If they turned their back on her for an instant, her parents often found Hillary perched on top of kitchen cabinets, swallowing staples and tacks, smashing glass tables and throwing knives.

Intensive inpatient program helps children and families dealing with severe behavioral problems
Brandon Calvert

The moment someone becomes a parent, he or she accepts the tremendous responsibility of doing everything possible to ensure their child's health, happiness and ability to thrive...

Spinal cord injury: innovative therapies lead to remarkable results
Loretta McRae

As she typed the words into the Internet search engine, Loretta McRae knew it was a long shot. In the months since the 15-year-old struck her head on an ocean sandbar in Australia, sustaining a C6 level spinal cord injury, virtually every expert said she'd already gotten her miracle. She was alive, she could wiggle her toes, she was regaining sensation in her limbs. But she would probably need to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

That answer wasn't good enough for Loretta, an athlete who was scheduled to compete in a swim meet the day after her accident.

Specialized Transition Program Paves the Way for Recovery and Independence
Ritchie Jacob

Riding a bicycle comes as second nature to most 15-year-old boys. But for Richie Jacob, it was a major milestone. Three months earlier, Richie couldn't walk. He could barely talk. Doctors gave him a 50 percent chance of survival.

Assistive Technology Clinic Enhances Communication for Those in Need
Maggie Piet

Most 18-year-old girls love to talk. Maggie Piet is no exception. She just uses modern technology to do so.

Maggie lost her ability to speak four years ago when she suffered a traumatic brain injury during a serious car accident. After four months in a coma, Maggie began rehabilitation at Kennedy Krieger Institute. It was a slow process, but through intense occupational, speech, and physical therapy, she began to smile, nod, and point again. Still, she could not speak.

Tantrums, Biting, Crying -- Every Parent Struggles with Them from Time to Time, But When Misbehavior Intensifies, It Can Traumatize the Entire Family.

Sixteen-year-old Travis Smith can't wait to try out for his Baltimore City high school's football team next fall. He's a lot like most boys his age: non-stop energy. Today, that energy is channeled positively, a big change from when he first started school. Back then, his mother Natasha Lewis was at her wits end, receiving phone calls practically on a daily basis telling her to come pick him up from school. 

Cranial-Cervical Clinic Focuses on Prevention and Treatment of Head Tilts and Malformations

Little Eric Miller* had a rough start in life. Struggling with severe acid reflux from the time he was just a few days old, he spent much of his first few months shuttling from one doctor to another, enduring countless X-rays, CT scans and other tests. Mom Brenda Baker*, desperate to relieve his discomfort, decided to keep him propped up as much as possible, even putting him in his car seat to sleep.

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