Reason to Believe
This year, more than ever, we need to give our kids, health care heroes, and families a reason to believe. This holiday season, more than 1,500 kids will spend their holidays at Children’s National Hospital while they courageously battle disease, illness or injury. Give them a reason to believe.
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No child wants to spend the holidays in the hospital. But last November, Riley had to undergo a stem cell transplant, one of the hardest parts of his cancer treatment.
"It was such a difficult time, but the staff lifted his spirits and helped ease his pain in so many ways," says Riley's mom, Ashley. There was the surprise visit from Spiderman, the magical Frozen theme on the oncology unit and his special bond with Mr. Joe, a Child Life specialist.
Riley made a “smiley Christmas Tree” on his door with paper ornaments to thank the doctors, nurses and other staff who cared for him. "He would tell me to add more and more people — he really treasured it," says Ashley.
Riley and his family were overjoyed when he went home five days before Christmas. "It was a true miracle that our Smiley Riley was home in time for Christmas," recalls Ashley. On Christmas Eve, he left out cookies for Santa and read The Night Before Christmas with his grandmother. "Seeing all four of my boys opening presents the next morning is a memory that I will hold forever in my heart."
In February, Riley was declared cancer-free. The now energetic 6-year-old loves to play baseball with his brothers, build Legos and paint. "Riley's care team saved him from a cancer that wreaked havoc on his body," Ashley says. "They gave us hope, love and a commitment to fight beside us. We are forever grateful to Children’s National!"
Logyn had five surgeries by the time she was 3 months old due to a life-threatening intestinal disorder. She spent her first holidays at Children’s National. Thanks to the care she received, Logyn met many of her family members for the first time last holiday season. Today, she is a busy toddler and loves to sample squash, green beans and potatoes — a little at a time.
Savi was diagnosed with leukemia a few days after he and his twin brother, Marcel, turned 2. He had to undergo more than three years of treatment. Savi is now an energetic kindergartener who is working toward his black belt in karate. “Thanks to the expert care at Children's National, I know Savi won’t be sick during the holidays," says Savi's dad, Rachid. "I’m looking forward to being healthy together and not having that worry.”
Braeden was 2 when he was diagnosed with leukemia. Just before Christmas that year, he received the greatest present of all: being declared cancer-free. Braeden is now a happy, healthy kindergartener.
Hannah had to undergo lifesaving surgery after swallowing an unknown object that burned holes in her stomach. This holiday season, she and her family are celebrating "all the miracles that happen at Children’s National."
Donate today. Give kids/families/health care heroes a reason to believe this holiday season. Visit ChildrensNational.org/Believe