Patient Stories

Published on May 18, 2016
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Last May, Ava Cardoso-Smith, then 14, strode across the stage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, took the microphone and belted out a rendition of “You Raise Me Up.” Her performance was part of a charity gala benefiting programs for Los Angeles-area foster children, and the... Read More
Published on May 6, 2016
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A daughter comes to CHLA for the same surgery her mother had here more than 35 years before Amelia Green and her family arrived at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles before dawn on Aug. 13, 2014. The adorable 4-year-old was dressed as her favorite TV character, Doc McStuffins,... Read More
Published on May 5, 2016
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Hearing the news that you’re about to have your first-born is an exciting time. You might wonder about what your child will look like, or what you’ll name him or her, but there’s a lot to worry about as well. You hope that your child will be a healthy infant and that your... Read More
Published on February 29, 2016
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In July 2015, Samantha and Marco Davila were at week 20 of their pregnancy, and they were excited to learn of their first child’s gender. But something was spotted on the ultrasound that would change all three lives. What their doctor saw would ultimately be diagnosed as a... Read More
Published on February 18, 2016
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His daughter’s experience at the Heart Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles spurred actor Mark Feuerstein and his wife, Dana Klein, to get involved. Mark Feuerstein faced a dilemma shared by many parents of severely ill children: the agony of going to work every day... Read More
Published on February 9, 2016
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Elysia Weiner, RN, clinic nurse III at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, was nervous to be on her first helicopter ride. She didn’t know what to expect, but luckily, a CHLA transport nurse was kind to explain the process of the flight and Weiner was even taken on a special trip... Read More
Published on January 21, 2016
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How a desperate email, sent to the wrong hospital, inadvertently reached the one doctor who could turn Bianca Celis’ life around. “Oops.” That was the best Bianca Celis could muster after learning that the email she had sent off to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles went far... Read More
Published on January 8, 2016
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Eleven-year-old Savannah Fulkerson loves Disneyland, water parks, trips to the beach and swimming in her backyard pool. The energetic Santa Clarita sixth-grader, though, can only do those activities at night, after the sun has safely gone down. That’s because for Savannah,... Read More
Published on December 29, 2015
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“She knows where to go, she knows the nurses, she knows the routine and sees other kids going through the same things,” says Trish Manzanedo. “She feels at home here.” Trish is referring to her 6-year-old daughter, Natalia, who has been fighting high-risk acute lymphoblastic... Read More
Published on December 21, 2015
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Among the 1,000 or so books that Nikki Kerry estimates line the bookshelves in her kids’ playroom, she counts a few dozen “special” books, so designated because they were given to her daughter Gracin by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where Gracin has been a patient since... Read More
Published on December 14, 2015
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Jennifer Rashkin recalls with absolute clarity the first time her daughter, Mila, had a seizure. “It was Sept. 26, 2011. She was 3 years old. About 15 minutes into her nap, I heard her cough, and I was like, ‘That’s weird.’ As I walked in, I heard her gurgling. When I saw her... Read More
Published on December 8, 2015
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Three months since her 18-month-old daughter, Luna, was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Maria Bueno is sorting through her old thoughts, still working toward forgiving herself for having them. “Maybe people thought, ‘Why do you want another baby so bad?’ We already had four,”... Read More
Published on December 4, 2015
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At just 5 years old, Joshua Solis knows his way to the Children’s Orthopaedic Center, notices when kids have casts like he did, and refers to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as “my hospital.” That’s no surprise, since he’s been treated by the Musculoskeletal Tumor Program at... Read More
Published on November 30, 2015
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Jake Olson lives by a simple mantra: “Nothing is impossible.” Those three words are especially fitting for the 18-year-old who graduated high school with a 4.3 GPA, plays college football, aspires to join the PGA Tour, has written a book—and is blind. At just 8 months old, Jake... Read More
Published on November 30, 2015
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After a fall from a window left him comatose, a 3-year-old boy begins a remarkable recovery. On April 19 the Cha family would experience the unimaginable. “After the accident, Clayton couldn’t walk, talk or do much,” says Allis, Clayton’s father. Claty, as his family likes... Read More
Published on November 26, 2015
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A serious heart defect isn’t stopping Maceo Alvarez from playing his favorite sport—and helping other sick children at the holidays. Maceo Alvarez likes a lot of sports—but nothing compares with his love for football. “He’s like a football addict,” his mother, Monique Esparza,... Read More
Published on November 20, 2015
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“You get to hit the ball,” explains 6-year-old Jonny Maldonado. “And you get to run.” The Bakersfield first-grader is talking about why baseball has become one of his favorite sports (along with soccer and wrestling). Last spring, he played shortstop on his first T-ball team,... Read More
Published on November 19, 2015
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In hindsight, there were small signs that something was wrong with 5-year-old Kylie Wines; but nothing the average parent would consider out of the ordinary. “We were trying to teach her how to ride a bike,” says her mom, Tasha, and it was proving to be quite a challenge. “... Read More
Published on November 17, 2015
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John Escolero has lots of plans for the future. He wants to be a computer animator. He wants to one day have his own family. And he wants to be independent and have some fun—and freedom. “I didn’t have as much freedom as a kid, so I’d like to have some freedom and fun as an... Read More
Published on November 12, 2015
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Like any other aspiring fashion designer, 5-year-old Emily Jarquin knows that the right shoes are an essential part of every outfit. So this past summer, before heading off to her radiation appointments at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, she would slip on an elegant pair of... Read More

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