Maria Fareri Children's Hospital Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day on Sept. 18

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Four former pediatric patients at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) will lead the 18th Annual Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day September 18.

The children, who have all undergone successful surgeries at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, will serve as hospital ambassadors and represent the thousands of seriously ill and injured children served annually by the hospital’s advanced pediatric services.

This year’s ambassadors arrived at the hospital under different circumstances:

Derek, 7, of Nanuet was diagnosed with a Chiari malformation, a structural skull defect that pushes a part of the brain into the spinal column. The condition can result in pain, muscle weakness, breathing problems and other symptoms. In February of 2020. Derek had neurosurgery at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. The surgery was a success and Derek recovered in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Chloe, 14, of Dobbs Ferry collapsed at a Father’s Day picnic. After several doctor visits Chloe went to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital where doctors diagnosed her with an aneurysm. Emergency surgery was performed and soon thereafter Chloe was able to feel her legs, wiggle her toes, successfully complete a course of physical therapy. In addition to being a talented artist, Chloe is a member of the French Honor Society at her school, a skilled basketball player, a Girl Scout and a Sunday school teacher-in-training at her church.

Trevor, 8 of Stormville was born prematurely at 35 weeks and transferred to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Trevor was in need of abdominal surgery when he was just seven days old and then had to return for care at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital a year later when he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (eye cancer) involving his left eye. He received opthomalogic surgery to remove the cancer and has been in remission ever since.

Taylor, 9, of Stamford began showing symptoms of paralysis in January of 2019. Then, doctors diagnosed Taylor with septic arthritis, which necessitated two surgeries and additional treatment. At Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, doctors had to remove a sizable portion of thigh muscle, which was diseased by flesh-eating bacteria. After seven weeks of recovery in the hospital, today Taylor walks, runs, jumps and does everything a child can do.

“Derek, Chole, Trevor, and Taylor are truly beacons of hope. As our ambassadors, they inspire families and their children to persevere when facing painful or difficult circumstances. These four heroic children, with their families fully supporting them, did not give up, and neither did the staff at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital,” said Michael Gewitz, MD, the hospital’s Executive Director and William Russell McCurdy Physician-in-Chief.

The casual, almost one-mile walk led by the four ambassadors starts at 11 a.m. on the
Westchester Medical Center Campus in Valhalla. Following the walk participants will enjoy a morning filled with fun activities for the whole family.

Among the expected participants are former hospital patients and families returning to the hospital for annual reunions. The Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day is Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s largest annual fundraiser.

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and these four ambassadors were honored at Clover Stadium, home of the New York Boulders, during the team’s game July 24.

The Big 5 – Racing Stronger Together
Go the Distance is one of five public fundraising events at Westchester Medical Center on September 18. The other events are the Healing Half Marathon; Kyle Goldberg 10K; Evan Lieberman 5K; and the Pick Two Challenge. Those who wish to take part in or support Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital September 18 – or any of the other events and other WMCHealth should visit WMCBig5Races.com/Walk-Details.

About Westchester Medical Center Health Network
The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is a 1,700-bed healthcare system headquartered in Valhalla, New York, with nine hospitals on seven campuses spanning 6,200 square miles of the Hudson Valley. WMCHealth employs more than 13,000 people and has nearly 3,000 attending physicians. The Network has Level I (adult and pediatric), Level II and Level III trauma centers, the region’s only acute care children’s hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals, dozens of specialized institutes and centers, Comprehensive and Primary Stroke Centers, skilled nursing, assisted living facilities, home-care services and one of the largest mental health systems in New York State. Today, WMCHealth is the pre-eminent provider of integrated health care in the Hudson Valley. For more information about WMCHealth, visit WMCHealth.org or follow WMCHealth on Facebook.com/WMCHealth or Instagram.com/WMCHealth.

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