Inspiring Stories

Research and Care Programs at Kennedy Krieger Work to Minimize the Damage Caused by Brain Cancer
Nicole Bahen

If you've ever doubted how quickly your life can be turned upside down, just ask the Bahen family. On Monday, Nov. 14, 2000, the Bahens' 5-year-old daughter Nicole joined her friends for her usual afternoon dance class. By Sunday Nov. 20, Nicole lay in intensive care recovering from surgery, unable to speak, roll over or swallow, nearly paralyzed on her right side. Such is the swift devastation of a pediatric brain tumor.

Researchers at Kennedy Krieger Investigate Whether Energy Therapy Can Benefit Children with Developmental Disabilities

To an outsider, it looks like the small boy is having fun with a baby-sitter. As he moves from toy to toy, his "sitter" follows him, occasionally placing her hands on his arms and legs. She tries to touch his head, but he pushes her hand away. She spends a lot of time pressing lightly on his chest. When he gets tired, she keeps applying light pressure as he becomes more and more relaxed. As the boy starts to nod off, she steps back, ending the session.

Boy Undergoes Dramatic Surgery, Therapy to Lengthen Short Limb
Tyler Kiskis

At 5 years old, Tyler Kiskis is a bundle of energy, a little spark-plug with tossled brown hair and an impish grin who revels in the things that most 5-year-old boys do baseball and soccer, chasing the family Labrador, jumping through a water sprinkler in the front yard of his family's Pasadena home.

A Child's Work Is to Play, But Not All Children Know How. Several Programs at Kennedy Krieger Teach Them -- For the Sake of More Than Just Amusement.
Corey Opher, Jr.

The playroom of Kennedy Krieger Institute's Achievements program doesn't look like a typical child's playroom. There are no blocks, books, dolls or trucks lining the shelves or scattered about the floor. In fact, the room seems practically devoid of toys, those things that inspire the imaginations of children but it's not. They're here, stored neatly in clear plastic bins, one to a container, each labeled with a picture and a word describing its contents.

Kennedy Krieger Researcher Uses Innovations in MRI Technology to Study the Brain's Structure and Function in Search of the Cause of ADHD
Erin Blitz with Dr. Stewart Mostofsky

Laurie Blitz began to suspect that something was not quite right with her daughter as early as when she was a toddler. Erin seemed overly hyperactive, moving so much that even simple tasks like changing her diaper became lessons in patience and control. When she was old enough to walk, she would constantly run away, placing herself in danger. 

Kennedy Krieger's Pediatric Psychology Program Helps Calm Children's Fears of Medical Procedures by Teaching Them What to Expect, What to Do, and How to Relax
Sam Spring

Last year, 5-year-old Samuel Spring came to Kennedy Krieger Institute for evaluation of autism. The genetic and metabolic tests he was to undergo required giving a blood sample. When the nurse tried to tie the tourniquet around his arm in preparation for the needle stick, Sam began to cry and break away. 

Kennedy Krieger's Center for Development and Learning Helps Children with ADHD Lead Fuller Lives
Kerrel Williams with Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Each year, Kennedy Krieger Institute's Center for Development and Learning evaluates and treats several thousand children with ADHD. The evaluation includes a detailed medical, developmental and behavioral history of the child. "We verify concerns with a behavioral checklist completed by parents and the child's school," explains Paul Lipkin, M.D., director of the Center for Development and Learning. 

Kennedy Krieger Researcher Helps Implement Substance Abuse Prevention Programs Targeting Preschoolers in Baltimore
Peggy McNally at Dayspring Early Head Start Center

Every morning, 3-year-old La'Nell Alewine and her 4-year-old sister, Ja'Nell, get dressed and make their way to preschool at the Dayspring Head Start Center in East Baltimore. There, the girls eat a healthy breakfast, play with their classmates and learn about the alphabet, colors and numbers. 

An in utero stroke left Allie without the use of her right arm, but early, targeted therapy is helping her get it back.
An in utero stroke left Allie without the use of her right arm, but early, targeted therapy is helping her get it back.
Animal assisted therapy helped motivate and lift the spirits of animal lover Destiny Fallas during her rehabilitation from transverse myelitis.
When Destiny Fallas came down with a cold last fall, her parents didn’t think much of it at first. But within 24 hours, Destiny lost the ability to talk, swallow, or eat. After being admitted to the hospital, she continued to worsen and became completely paralyzed.

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