We’re All In

At Connecticut Children’s, our commitment to healing children never wavers. Always researching, discovering, comforting, believing, and making the lives of children better. You feel it from the moment you enter our doors. You see it in our doctors and medical staff, and the Connecticut Children’s community at large.

It’s who we are. It’s what we do. It’s why we’re here. Connecticut Children’s is all in.

Share how you’re all in.

Brayden is all in.

Brayden is one inspiring three-year-old boy. Born one month premature, he has been a fighter all his life. Recently, Brayden was diagnosed with B Cell Leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

Brayden currently undergoes weekly chemotherapy treatments at Connecticut Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

“Brayden is one tough little boy who has endured so many obstacles in his young life, but he will overcome this one as well because he is a fighter, and has an army of Prayer Warriors beside him,” explains his mother, Jennifer.

“We can’t thank his doctor, Dr. Donna Boruchov and his nurse Candace in clinic enough. Everyone there is amazing and all the staff on the 8th floor as well. They have hearts of gold and we know our son is in good hands. Together we are strong, and he will have one story to tell when he gets older!”

Daniela is all in.

Daniela was brought to Connecticut Children's with a life-threatening condition that was caught in the nick of time.

Daniela was born with a chronic and deadly blood disease called Beta Thalassemia Intermedia. Although the condition is manageable, it is life changing and will require numerous doctors’ visits, blood transfusions and therapies throughout her life.

“Daniela was seen by Dr. Wael Sayej who was so compassionate and caring,” said Daniela’s father, Dan. “He requested a full blood panel on Daniela and several other tests. That same night we got a call telling us to take Daniela to the Emergency Department immediately! The doctors couldn’t even believe she was conscious because we found out her hemoglobin was so low.”

“She was close to heart failure and we didn’t even know it. Her spleen and liver were completely swollen and enlarged. If not for Dr. Sayej’s thoroughness we may have lost Daniela that night,” he recalled.

“The bottom line is when a child does not look well, we have to trust our clinical judgment and trust parental instincts,” said Dr. Sayej. “Doing the most basic test led to getting Daniela the proper care she needed. I try to treat every child that I see as my own.”

Daniela’s family recently created “Daniela’s Dream for a Cure,” a nonprofit foundation to raise awareness and funds for her treatments. They are also blood drive coordinators and have held many successful blood drives since September 2013.

“Blood donors are truly heroes and save lives, like Daniela’s,” said Dan. “We will do anything to get more people to donate. Daniela has such a way of touching people and reaching them, it never ceases to amaze us.”

GlendaLee Morales is all in.

GlendaLee Morales of Connecticut Children’s Craniofacial Team goes above and beyond to promote awareness and equality for patients with facial differences.

In addition to her role within the department, GlendaLee oversees a variety of special projects and events in celebration of her patients, including a recent photo shoot and photo unveiling reception titled “Beyond The Face: A Tribute to Craniofacial Team Patients at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.” Her dedication, compassion and expertise have helped nurture the self-esteem and confidence of so many children and adolescents.

Dr. Lau is all in.

Ching C. Lau, MD, PhD is a distinguished pediatric oncologist and cancer researcher who is dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer.

Upon joining Connecticut Children’s last year as the Medical Director of Hematology/Oncology, Dr. Lau also accepted positions as Professor at The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) for Genomic Medicine and as Head of the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology in the Department of Pediatrics at the UConn School of Medicine.

This joint appointment to the three institutions provides a strong set of resources to allow for more and better clinical trials to be accessible to pediatric cancer patients.

Through the use of genomic medicine and JAX’s accurate mouse models, therapies can be ideally matched to each patient, which Dr. Lau hopes will shorten clinical trials, reduce side effects, and produce better outcomes for children with cancer.

Dr. Finck is all in.

Each year, 15 million infants are born premature, often experiencing difficulty breathing and a wide range of complications.

Through groundbreaking research, Dr. Christine Finck, Surgeon-in-Chief, and her team at Connecticut Children’s are discovering innovative ways to engineer lung tissue to help those infants with underdeveloped lungs. It’s real, revolutionary work that is saving lives.

Kelly is all in.

When 15-year-old Kelly finished her treatments at Connecticut Children’s, she knew she wanted to give back to other patients.

She started the Connecticut Children’s Slushy Fund, and over the last five years, she’s raised over $55,000. The donation helps bring slushies, smiles, and relief to patients throughout the medical center. Slushies made a huge difference during Kelly’s cancer journey and recovery when she was a patient and she wanted other children to have the same benefit.

Joseph Willis is all in.

The Connecticut Children’s experience begins the moment a patient and their family enters through its doors. Security guard, Joseph Willis, is all in when it comes to making sure that experience starts with a smile.

“I am privileged to interact with so many patient families on a daily basis and have this awesome opportunity to watch their journeys unfold. From their first appointment, I hear their stories and watch them grow and heal. No one wants their child to be sick. So I always try to make sure there’s a smile on my face. I’m always ready to make someone laugh, give a high five or a fist pump…anything to just make it a little easier. The children and families are my heroes and I’m just honored to be a part of their experience.”

UConn is all in.

Oftentimes, patients are so inspired by their experience at Connecticut Children’s they’re compelled to give back to the medical center and its patients.

Nicole Cartier never missed a HuskyTHON as a patient. Now, as a UConn student and member of the HuskyTHON management team she hopes to give back to the hospital that gave her a second chance. “Thousands of @uconn students have put in countless fundraising hours to support patients like me. It has been amazing to be on the other side and be able to dance in support of other kids at the hospital. I know exactly what they are going through and that just pushes me to work harder to make the event even more successful, year after year.”

You don’t have to be a human to be all in.

For more than 3 years, Ron and his 10-year-old Golden-doodle, Charlie, have been touching the lives of thousands of patients during their visits to Connecticut Children’s.

Patients, families and staff count on Charlie to be a calming presence, to brighten their day and bring a smile to their face when they need it most. Charlie has such a reputation, patients request him by name. Ron, Charlie and all the rest of our pet therapy pups and volunteers make miracles happen every day. They are all in for Connecticut Children’s.

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