Why I love our nurses at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Cookie and Laura

Cookie and her nurse, Laura McNally, BSN, RN

We have been touched by the kindness of so many nurses here at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin since my daughter, Cookie, was diagnosed with lymphoma in August 2012. She had six rounds of chemo followed by a bone marrow transplant. We could not have gotten through it without the love and great care of nurses like Laura McNally, her nurse in our MACC Fund Center.

Laura made a personal connection with Cookie from her very first …Continue reading →

Talk to your pediatrician or OB/GYN about pulse oximetry screening — it saved my son’s life

Pulse oximetry screening saved Simon's life

Simon is now a thriving 18-month-old.

My son Simon was born in April 2011 at an area hospital. Soon after delivery I started to notice some “red flags,” like his breathing was a little fast, and at times his color did not look quite right. These red flags continued when we were discharged from the hospital, and Simon began feeding poorly and looking blue. Trying not to overreact, I took him to the pediatrician’s office where he received a pulse oximetry screening, which measures the amount of oxygen in the blood, and found he had low oxygen levels.

We were transported by ambulance to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin where Simon was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. He was …Continue reading →

Sam’s story: Newborn and fetal care at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

I’m excited to share Sam’s story, which puts a human face on the capabilities of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. In this video, the Derus family talk about the care we provided Sam and how the odds were stacked against their …Continue reading →

How Project Adam saved my life

Morgan Frain

Morgan Frain

My name is Morgan Frain, and I am 4 years old. On Jan. 7, 2012, my mom and dad took me to Lambeau Field in Green Bay for dinner and to play in the atrium. As we were getting ready to leave, my heart suddenly stopped and I fell to the ground. My dad turned me over and saw that my face was blue. He told my mom that they needed to do CPR, and told my 7-year-old sister, Hannah, to run and get help.

My mom started CPR right away, while a nice man from the Green Bay Packers security department brought my dad an …Continue reading →

One special way to recognize Audrey’s cancer journey

As my family gathers for the holidays, I’m thankful we’ve come through another year healthy and happy. But today I can’t help but think about some very special kids at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin who are facing the battle of their lives.

Childhood cancer at any time of year is sad and tragic, but it seems particularly sad during …Continue reading →

Grieving parents and the “elephant” in front of the Christmas tree

Brandon Fochs

Brandon Fochs on a camping trip with his father just weeks before his death

The holidays are a difficult time of year for our family. Nine years ago we lost our son, Brandon, when he was hit by a truck while riding his bike. No amount of holiday cheer can ever transport us to a time when we were a complete family. Unfortunately, many of you can relate because you have lost your precious child too.

It’s been a long time since Brandon’s death; aren’t we “over it?” No. You never “get over” the loss of your child. You simply learn to go on without them — enduring the pain, treasuring the memories and being thankful that you were blessed to have such a special child even for a …Continue reading →

Why October is Noah’s month

Noah

Noah is the hydration specialist for his high school football team.

October is Noah’s month. Actually, every month is Noah’s month! My son, Noah, is 17, a high school junior who loves football and a Green Bay Packers fan (his favorite person on the team is the equipment manager, Red, who has great energy and inspired Noah to help whenever there is something to do).

Noah is the big brother to two sisters. He calls our dog the other “guy” in the house to keep it even. He loves music and reruns of Full House. He uses his iPad to connect with friends and family on Facebook and Skype, does handstands underwater, sings like he’s underwater even when he’s not and happens to have Down syndrome. So it’s his month …Continue reading →

Celebrating life when your family is affected by childhood cancer

Hollyn

Hollyn is celebrating life.

When your family is affected by childhood cancer, you celebrate life every day. Our family recently stepped up the celebration with an amazing group of people. We attended the annual Celebrate Life event at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. It always amazes me how many kids are in this battle and how many are just out of treatment.

It was great to see my daughter Hollyn (who was diagnosed with cancer in 2005) and everyone else at the event get a lot of “wows” from the staff. She really is growing up. Her hair is longer, but she’s still the same girl many of them met seven years ago. I hope her warm smile and hugs never change.

There always is great music at this event, and …Continue reading →

Why participating in Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk has become a passion for my family

Jack Palmen

Jack graduated from high school in June 2011.

In July 2008, our lives changed forever. My seemingly perfectly healthy 15-year-old son, Jack was flown by Flight for Life to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. He had a ruptured brain arteriovenous malformation and was rushed into surgery. The condition happens when arteries in the brain connect directly to nearby veins without having the normal vessels (capillaries) between them. I believe he would not be alive today if not for the doctors, surgeons and staff at Children’s Hospital.

The care Jack received was incredible, and the support and compassion shown to our family was off the charts. When Jack arrived at Children’s Hospital, he only had a 4 percent chance of …Continue reading →

Honoring Alyssa’s spirit by supporting Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

With four healthy boys running around we never gave a second thought to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Then our fifth child and only girl, Alyssa, came along. She brightened our world in countless ways. Not long after her birth, it became clear that Alyssa had some unique health issues. Through her, we discovered how special Children’s Hospital is and how fortunate we are to have it in our backyard.

Alyssa was born with clubfeet in September 1988. By the time she was 6 months old, she was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder that affects …Continue reading →