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Our Miracle Kids
Brooke & Caitlin Rosenberg
Meet Brooke & Caitlin
8 years old and 11 years old
2014 Children’s Miracle Network Champions Acute Myeloid Leukemia & Bone Marrow Donor
A few days after a family vacation, blood work revealed that a rash on then 2-year-old Brooke was far more than serious. Brooke had blood cancer. Brooke needed a bone marrow transplant, but the chances of finding a perfect match were slim. Her older sister, Caitlin, who was 5 at the time, was a match and stepped in to save her sister. Their mom says, “We are so grateful to the whole team at Children’s national for their hard work. Without them, we would not have the hope we have today.” Brooke and Caitlin have been to all three GW Dance Marathons! We love watching Brooke belt it out on stage and seeing Caitlin rock her gymnastics routine!
Tess & Alexander Theodorakos
Meet Tess & Alexander
2011 Children’s Miracle Network Champions Cerebral Palsy
Twins Tess and Alexander were diagnosed with different types of cerebral palsy at ages 2 and 3. Ongoing treatments and therapies at Children’s National work to increase their mobility and ability. Music lessons help with fine motor skills: Tess enjoys playing guitar, while Alexander prefers the drums. There is not currently a cure for cerebral palsy. Alexander says, “I have faith that if somebody’s going to find the cure…it’s going to be Children’s.”
Just after celebrating her second birthday, Amanda was diagnosed with a bone cancer rarely found in children her age. In the midst of chemotherapy treatments, Amanda had to have her leg amputated. Amanda loves her “J leg,” and is currently in remission. She loves to sing, dance, and can even outrun many of her friends at school! Her mother says, “Amanda has a spirit about her that many people have never experienced-- she is strong, outgoing, and is always smiling." Amanda always rocks her performances at GW Dance Marathon with her rendition of “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson, while dancing around on her J-leg.
At age 6, Carsten was diagnosed with leukemia. He endured years of chemotherapy and emerged cancer-free, but at the cost of ongoing health conditions. He hasn’t let that stop him. He achieved a black belt in Tae Kwan Do, designed a board game with Mattel that helps patients learn about their cancer, and challenged himself to raise $1,500 to provide medical equipment for a surgeon working in Cameroon, Africa. Carsten is considering a career in medicine, to help kids with conditions like his own. Carsten is always a strong contender at the famous GW Dance Marathon wing-eating contest! Can he beat out Mr. Rosenberg this year?
2008 Children’s Miracle Network Champion
Wants to be a cardiologist for kids
At just six months old, doctors discovered that Olivia had an enlarged heart. She was transferred via helicopter to Children’s National, and diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. In danger of heart failure, she waited more than 100 agonizing days for a heart transplant. A donor heart became available, and was found to be a perfect match for Olivia. Her transplant was successful, and Olivia is still healthy and thriving more than 10 years later. She and her family are grateful for the care they received at Children’s National and for the gift of her new heart.
Urea Cycle Disorder
Luca was only two days old when she had to be rushed by helicopter to Children’s National. Doctors discovered that she had been born with a rare genetic disorder that prevented her liver from processing digested proteins. By the time she was 4 months old, a liver transplant was her only option. Finding one small enough and quickly enough was difficult, so part of her father’s liver was transplanted in a complicated but ultimately successful operation. Luca’s mom said, “Children’s National was truly the best place for Luca’s care. ‘Thank you’ just doesn’t seem to be quite enough.”
Loves singing, dancing and watching the Food Network
After a long journey trying to find a diagnosis for Samerya’s illness, Children’s National discovered Samerya had a disease of the kidneys that prevented her body from breaking down proteins and caused swelling to her kidneys. At 4 years old, Samerya had her kidneys removed through her belly button using minimally invasive surgery. She is now on dialysis. Samerya loves the Food Network and anything to do with princesses. When she grows up, she wants to be a nurse and help kids in the hospital like her.
2015 Children's Miracle Network Champion
Leg Amputation from Lawn Mower Accident
The whole family was outside: dad mowing the lawn, mom weeding the garden. In a horrifying instant, 5-year-old Noble slipped and got tangled with the lawnmower, severely injuring his heel and calf. He was airlifted to a hospital in Virginia, and transferred to Children’s National a week later. A team of doctors worked to save Noble’s leg; however, the serious nature of his injury soon made it clear that amputation would give the best chance for a happy and healthy life. Months later, Noble walked into kindergarten on his bionic “transformers” leg. Now he runs, jumps, climbs, swims, and plays golf.
Can sign in American Sign Language
Atrial Septal Defect, Ebstein’s Malformation, Pulmonary Atresia
Micah came to Children’s National for treatment before she was even born. When her mother was 20 weeks pregnant, Micah was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. She and her mom were monitored closely throughout the pregnancy, and Mich was born at 33 weeks. She had her first open heart surgery at only 14 days old and two more before her first birthday. Micah now attends school and plays on a soccer team. Micah’s mom said, “My daughter is living proof of the care Children’s offers. She’s amazing because of Children’s.”
Dances with a Hawaiian Dance company that has performed at the Smithsonian Indian Museum, the United States Capitol and the Cherry Blossom festival just to name a few
At 3 years old, Chase accidentally used lye-based drain cleaner on his toothbrush. The chemical instantly burned his esophagus. Unable to breathe or swallow, his dad rushed him to the local emergency room, which sent him via medevac to Children’s National. The chemical destroyed his esophagus and epiglottis, and he spent 3 weeks in the PICU recovering from his near-fatal accident. Chase has endured 32 surgical procedures and a tracheotomy to open his airway. Chase’s mom lovingly describes him as “a real people person,” and he loves Hawaiian dancing!
When Xochitl was a toddler, her parents feared she may never walk. Xochitl has cerebral palsy, and at age 3, Children’s National doctors performed a complicated spinal surgery that had previously only been done on older patients.
Step by step, Xochitl, now 10, has beaten the odds, and for the past two years, she has walked the 3-mile course in the Children’s National Race for Every Child 5K.
“I really felt like I could do anything,” she said after the 2015 event, which was the farthest she had ever walked.
Jessica was born 4 weeks early with a hole in her spinal cord. Surgeons at Children’s National operated immediately to repair the damage, and fitted her with braces to help straighten her twisted feet.
In addition to regular care and follow ups, her doctors eventually suggested enrolling her in martial arts to help with her balance and coordination.
Thanks to excellent care she has received, and her own indomitable spirit, Jessica is now fully independent, and continues to amaze her parents, doctors, and everyone who knows her.