Meet Javier Arreola: Patient, Advocate, Spokesperson and Junior Ambassador
Javier is one of the first members, along with Max Page, of Children's Hospital Los Angeles' Junior Ambassadors Program. Launched this year, the program invites kids and teens to support the hospital by inspiring them to become budding philanthropists, giving them the tools to fundraise and reach out to their own community.
"As an official Junior Ambassador for Children’s Hospital, I go out and talk about Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to everyone I meet because this hospital is one of my favorite places. Your support of the hospital makes all the difference to kids like me."Javier recently gave a speech at an event host by AEG. He said,
With a speech like that, it’s no wonder he reached is offline fundraising goal of $1,000 in support of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In fact, he recently increased his fundraising goal to $2,000. Javier was born premature and weighing only 2 pounds. When he was a year and a half old, he contracted bronchitis and was hospitalized three times before he was referred to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. He began receiving lung treatments and was put on medication to help him begin absorbing nutrients and food. As time went on, however, Javier was not gaining weight. Doctors advised that due to his low body weight, it was more likely for him to pass away as a result of other complications rather than the cystic fibrosis. He was 8 years old at this time and weighed only 23 pounds. Javier was in need of an operation to insert a gastronomy tube (G-tube), which would deliver nutrition directly to his stomach. Javier’s mother, Alejandra, expressed,
“We were very blessed to have Dr. Henri Ford perform his G-tube operation which allows him now to receive food via the tube. To have access to a doctor like Dr. Ford is one of the things that I am eternally grateful for.”
Javier is now 10 and weighs 61.8 pounds. He lives about as normal a life as any other boy his age. He is an extremely expressive and happy boy. He loves camping and playing basketball. When he grows up, he wants to be both a paleontologist and a nurse so that he can help kids like him. If you would like to make a donation in honor of Javier, click here and include “Javier Arreola” in the “Other:” field. Photos from the Ambassador Program launch.