We're participating in Al's Run to help support the Children's Hospital of Milwaukee with student physical therapists from UW-Milwaukee. This is an event that means a lot to our program at UWM because our professors have children with special needs.
Why we do Al’s run…
Danny Zalewski: Danny Zalewski is a happy 17 year old boy who loves the Brewers, the Packers, and his brother's soccer team. He has a cat (Scout), and a dog (Boo) who live at home with him and his parents and younger brother, Tommy. Danny is a Junior in High School at Wauwatosa East, and participates in Special Olympics track and basketball. Like many children who are born with special needs, Danny's unique life challenges were not given a 'diagnosis' when he was born. Our family just knew that it took Danny longer to learn things that most children learn with ease, and that he had some medical conditions that were difficult. It wasn't until later in Danny's life that we knew Danny's unique difficulties were due to a condition called Mowat-Wilson Syndrome (MWS). As one of the oldest children known with MWS, Danny continues to pave the way for other families to learn from his experiences as they prepare for the future joys and challenges of raising their own children.
When a person has a genetic condition such as MWS, 'getting better' is not an option. Our family has been frequent fliers at Children's Hospital. As Danny has grown, we have been involved with the Neurology, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Orthopedics and Genetics clinics. Children's Hospital of Wisconsin understands that treating the child means supporting the family - and our family is forever grateful for the skill, passion and dedication of the people who work day in and day out to care for children with special needs and their families. Children's Hospital has made a difference in our lives.
Danny, Tommy, George (dad) and Kathy (mom) thank you for your support of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
Isabelle Alt: Isabelle Alt was born at 37 weeks with a congential infection called cytomegalovirus (CMV). While this virus is quite common and harmless to adults, if a Mother is infected for the first time while pregnant, the virus may cause significant brain damage to the baby. This was the case for Isabelle, with primarily left sided brain damage, especially affecting her speech and language abilities. Isabelle also only had one side to her diaphragm muscle, so breathing was difficult and breathing and eating at the same time was near impossible. She was put on a ventilator to breath and underwent surgery to place a feeding tube in her stomach for formula feedings. She continued to be very fragile and spent the entire next year in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital on a ventilator. When she finally came home, she was just over a year old and we had home nursing care for several years. With each year of health, hard work and lots of therapy, she gained strength. She began to walk at about 5 years old and weaned off her oxygen. She still uses her feeding tube. She still visits Children's Hospital, but much less so than the early years. She is now a 14 year old young lady, with some compromises and permanent disability, but love for her family and a determination and persistence that is remarkable. I can not describe to you the feeling of helplessness to have a critically ill child. It is most unbearable, and the men and women who work at the hospital are your family and support system. It is a group of extremely dedicated and caring individuals. Any fundraising to continue and support their good deeds is well worth the effort. My wish is that none of you ever need their services, but if you do, this Run takes on a different and deeper meaning.
Thank you for your support and commitment to CHOW - Alt family
Stefanie Anne Bloohm: Two local radio hosts (Dave and Carole) have an annual fundraiser for Children’s Hospital and we’ve heard them say over the years, “You never want to have to use Children’s Hospital, but if you do, you’re always glad it’s here.” We always knew this was true because of our friends and family, but in 2008 we learned first hand how important it is to have Children’s Hospital within our community. On August 31, 2008 our daughter, Stefanie Anne, was born. It had been a difficult pregnancy, but we had every expectation Stefie would be healthy. Instead, she was born with a profound neuromusculoskeletal problem that led to both of her arms and one of her legs to be broken during delivery, she was not able to breathe on her own for very long after birth and she was not able to move freely. Stefie was taken to Children’s Hospital NICU shortly after birth where an expert multidisciplinary team started trying to save her precious life. How they cared for her was spectacular, but they didn’t stop there. They also took care of us. The Pod B NICU nurses and therapy staff included us in every step of caring for Stef, and essentially adopted us. We were only able to leave Stef’s side to rest because we knew she was in the hands of people who also truly cared about our daughter. One time we came in and the nurse had dressed Stef in a Sunday dress and a bow in her beautiful hair. It’s that level of care we got from Children’s Hospital. Our daughter fought very hard, but ultimately was unable to keep up the fight, and passed away on September 12, 2008. We will be forever grateful for the 12 beautiful days Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin was able to give us with our daughter, Stefanie Anne Bloohm. Thank you for your support of this necessary and wonderful institution. Our hope is that you will never need the services of CHW, but if you do, know you will be getting the best care around.
Erik and Wendy Bloohm (Huddleston)
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