Meet the 2013 Miracle Mile Patient Champions

Patient Champs

Darris introduces this year’s Patient Champions at RunFest.

One amazing marathon. 26 inspiring stories. A whole new way to give.

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon is about much more than running or walking an incredible distance. It’s about 24 Miracle Mile Patient Champions who have shared their stories to inspire you. It’s about one Angel Mile to honor, remember, and celebrate those who have already finished their race. And it’s about one Encore Mile, for the patients who lined the inaugural Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon in 2012. 26 different stories in all – each with a new inspiration and reason to keep running.

These miraculous kids will be on each mile of the marathon on October 20th, supporting you every step of the way. Here’s your opportunity to support them: Make this year’s marathon count, and join Children’s Champions today!

Meet the 2013 Miracle Mile Patient Champions:

Skyler, Mile 1: Since being diagnosed with cerebral palsy after his first birthday, Skyler has continued to receive world-class care at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. According to his mother, “He is an inspiration to all who meet him. His diagnosis definitely does not stop him! He plays baseball for the Miracle League and is part of a running group called myTeam Triumph. He even ran his first 5K with his dad last fall. He is an amazing kid!” Let Skyler’s journey inspire you from the very beginning, as he kick-starts the marathon this year at Mile 1.

Will, Mile 2: After a horrific accident left Will with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), his family wasn’t sure if he would ever talk again, let alone walk. Since spending five months on the rehabilitation floor at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Will continues to grow stronger every day. During last year’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, Will’s sister was moved to tears as she rounded a corner on the race and saw Will, standing with assistance, cheering her on. The Smith family hopes to offer you the same inspiration as they cheer for runners and walkers on Mile 2.

Colt, Mile 3: Before Garison “Colt” Marcum turned two years old, he was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), which has no cure. He was soon in so much pain that he quit trying to walk. Soon after his care at Nationwide Children’s Hospital began, Colt began to have more energy and eventually, his pain was going away. Now that Colt is receiving the care he requires to be a happy and healthy child, he doesn’t stop going. He’ll be on Mile 3, sharing his positive energy with runners and walkers as they pass.

Kinley, Mile 4: Within three days, Kinley went from being a normal first grade student, to being diagnosed with leukemia, to starting a very aggressive chemotherapy plan at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Once she was in remission, Kinley received a life-saving bone marrow transplant in 2012, which landed her in the intensive care unit (ICU) for almost three weeks. Eventually, Kinley’s healing began and soon she was on her way to being a healthy kid again. Recovery from the incredibly traumatic past few years took Kinley almost 10 weeks, but finally she was able to go home, where she belongs. Being on Mile 4 this year means hope to Kinley and her family.

Nick, Mile 5: Within five hours of being born, the decision was made to move Nick to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Once there, he received life-saving surgery, as well as the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. Over the years, Nick has shown his true Champion spirit. He has had five major hospitalizations and seven surgeries. He visits the Cystic Fibrosis, Ear, Nose, and Throat, and Endocrinology clinics, and every single day, he endures treatments and medications totaling 24 doses a day. Beyond this exhausting routine to keep Nick feeling healthy, he is an energetic second grader who loves to play soccer. Nick’s commitment to living a full and happy life has no limitations. Let his tenacity carry you across Mile 5.

Addie, Mile 6: Addie was delivered at only 28 weeks on December 28th, 2006. She was transferred to the Nationwide Children’ Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and spent the first 49 days of her life there, where she endured a feeding tube, a c-pap to provide oxygen to her tiny lungs, and dozens of IV medications. When the nurses at Nationwide Children’s told Addie’s mom that her baby had pulled off all of her monitors and was fighting the nurses in her isolette, she felt a glimmer of hope and knew they could get through this. Today, Addie is six years old and is still a fighter. She is happy and healthy, loves dinosaurs and wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up … and she’ll be waiting to greet marathoners at Mile 6.

Adelyn, Mile 7: Adelyn’s family consulted with Nationwide Children’s Hospital International Adoption Clinic while completing her adoption from China, so doctors at Children’s started caring for her before she even met them. Adelyn arrived to America with minor health complications – (spacing edit here) congenital hypothyroid and some developmental delays. Her family is thankful for the peace of mind that Children’s was able to provide their family during their adoption. Look for Adelyn on Mile 7.

Rudy, Mile 8: After being in and out of his hometown hospital several times with fevers, Rudy was pre-diagnosed with leukemia. Within hours, his family was on their way to Nationwide Children’s. Now, Rudy is in the maintenance phase of his chemotherapy, which means he only visits the hospital once a month, but does oral chemo at home every night. This year, he starts kindergarten and can’t wait to just be a kid. He has good days and bad, but for the most part, he’s a happy, funny six year old who never gives up. Let him be your inspiration on Mile 8.

Justus, Mile 9: When Justus was not breathing when he was delivered, doctors discovered that he had been deprived of oxygen in the womb – which had already caused damage to his brain and was beginning to take a toll on his organs. He was rushed to NICU at Nationwide Children’s Hospital where he was diagnosed with HIE (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy) and spent the next 72 hours undergoing therapy in order to halt any further neurological damage. After his release, Justus proved to be thriving, and today, he is hitting all of his milestones and is a happy, busy baby boy. Justus and his family will be sharing their joy at Mile 9 of this year’s marathon.

Morgan, Mile 10: Morgan’s dream of running varsity cross country for her local high school in Texas became a reality when, during her freshman year, her team won districts for the first time in nine years. After battling shingles and a severe case of mono just one year later, Morgan was ultimately diagnosed with Gastroparesis. She came to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for an attempt to correct her problems without surgery, but eventually had a Gastric Neurostimulator placed in her stomach. Today, Morgan is running again. She has persevered through many struggles, she has no doubt that she will one day be able to run the marathon. Until then, she’ll be cheering on runners and walkers from the sidelines at Mile 10.

Madeline, Mile 11: Madeline’s parents took her to the emergency room when she fell ill during Christmas of 2011. They were sent home with a diagnosis of dehydration, but as time passed, more symptoms arose. Further testing and an ultrasound finally showed that at only six years old, Madeline had Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a soft tissue tumor. Madeline lost 25% of her body weight during treatment, as well as her hair. But in her family’s words, they also gained something – “a new perspective on what’s really important.” Today, Madeline is in remission. She has taken her experience and transformed it into helping others and she is an inspiration to all who cross her path. Let her inspire you at Mile 11.

Angel Mile, Mile 12: This special mile is dedicated to the angels who are no longer here with us. Families coming together to support one another, share memories, and celebrate the days they shared with their children will make this mile an experience that gives this marathon a new meaning. When you run through the Angel Mile, run for those kids who have passed, and be inspired to live every day to the fullest in honor of those who have already finished their race.

Molly, Mile 13: When a trip to the doctor led Molly’s family to the emergency department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, they discovered that Molly was experiencing ketoacidosis, which is a complication of diabetes. This is also when they first learned that Molly is type 1 diabetic. Molly spent four days at Nationwide Children’s, learning about her new diagnosis and how her life would be different moving forward. Now, five years out from her diagnosis, Molly has attended a special camp for kids with diabetes every summer where she gets to feel “normal” again. She’ll be representing all Nationwide Children’s patients with diabetes – while cheering on runners and walkers – at Mile 13.

Katelynn, Mile 14: Katelynn was born at 25 weeks and weighed only one pound and seven ounces. Despite having multiple diagnoses, like chronic lung disease, weakened bones from osteoporosis, and kidneys that don’t function on their own, Katelynn has a happy life. She plays baseball, loves to shop, enjoys art projects, and goes camping for one week every year. Katelynn is proof that a positive attitude and a promise to never give up are key when reaching your dreams. She pushes herself to the limit, and is proud to simply make it through … and she’ll help you do the same at Mile 14.

Kylie, Mile 15: This year, Kylie celebrates her 10th year of defying the odds. She was born two months early with a rare chromosome disorder, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, physical disabilities and cognitive delays. Now, Kylie’s family aims to help others appreciate and celebrate their differences. Through Kylie, they have learned determination, love and passion, plus they’ve been able to teach others about compassion and caring for those who are unique. Kylie has broken many personal barriers – now, let her strength push you through Mile 15.

Ashley, Mile 16: Ashley was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma on October 26th, 2010, her 23rd birthday. During her stay at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, she endured a total of eight rounds of chemotherapy, 26 treatments of radiation, and surgery. She was also diagnosed with typhlitis during treatment, which alone could have taken her life. But, the doctors at Children’s never gave up on her – and Ashley never gave up on herself. She finished treatment on June 8th, 2011, and has been in remission ever since. Ashley will be celebrating her wellness on Mile 16.

Connor, Mile 17: Connor was born with hydrops fetalis, an illness that leaves babies born with a 10% chance to live. He was on a vent for the first three weeks of his life and his illness led to many other issues, including pulmonary hypertension and critically low blood pressure. There were times when his family wasn’t sure if his tiny body could withstand the trauma he was experiencing, but finally, he was able to go home. Now, Connor is a healthy 2-year-old boy. His family will be on Mile 17 in honor of Connor, cheering runners and walkers with the same spirit that got them through the times when their future was unclear.

Owen, Mile 18: Owen has terminal mitochondrial disease, meaning he suffers from a multitude of symptoms from seizures to respiratory failure. Doctors were never optimistic about his prognosis, and from the day he was born they warned his parents not to “chase rainbows looking for a cure.” But, six years later, Owen’s parents are still chasing rainbows – and Owen’s strength is unwavering. Mile 18, his “Mighty Mitochondrial Mile,” will be dedicated to parents who hear from the beginning that they should give up hope for their child … because Owen’s family never gives up, and neither does he.

The Encore Mile, Mile 19: 2012 will be remembered as the year that The Nationwide Insurance Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon became The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon. New meaning was breathed into a 33-year tradition, with patients from Nationwide Children’s lining the marathon route and inspiring runners and walkers to keep on moving. This year, we start another tradition: the Encore Mile. The Encore Mile is for the 25 patients who represented Children’s on each mile of the 2012 race. And next year, the Encore Mile will be for the 24 patients who will line the streets this year. The Patient Champions at Mile 19 (likely the rowdiest mile you cross!) will be sure to pump you up for your last long stretch.

Dae’shaun, Mile 20: Last year, Dae’shaun went from being a normal, athletic and healthy kid to being diagnosed with progressive myoclonus epilepsy (PME), a rare genetic syndrome that leads to neurological decline. Since then, he has experienced many difficult challenges – like trouble with memory, cognition, motor skills and fatigue. Now, Dae’shaun’s family thrives from the simple normalcy of seeing him shoot hoops. Let them help you thrive on Mile 20.

Bryer, Mile 21: Bryer was what’s known as an Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) baby, meaning he was very small while he was growing in his mother’s womb and began his battle to survive before he was even born. Bryer stayed in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital NICU for four months after that, then after a brief four days at home, was moved back to NICU for another three and a half months. Today, Bryer and his family patiently await test results to see what the next steps are in his precious life. At Mile 21, Bryer’s family will cheer for not only runners and walkers, but also for their son who continues to show how strong he is, every single day.

Camdon, Mile 22: A few hours after Camdon was born in March 2012, nurses noticed that he was turning blue. He was immediately sent to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital NICU, where doctors discovered a problem with his heart called tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) with pulmonary atresia. Within a week, he was also diagnosed with a chromosomal disorder called DiGeorge Syndrome. Camdon spent the first month of his life at Nationwide Children’s, and has been readmitted several times since. Despite all of his hardships, he continues to laugh and dance his way through life. He’s an inspiration to those around him – including runners and walkers at Mile 22.

Gavin, Mile 23: Gavin has autism. When he was 19 months old, specialists told his parents to prepare for him to be in an infantile state for the rest of his life. But, through lots of hard work, Gavin continues to hit milestones and prove doctors wrong. He is now eight years old, and functions as a typical 8-year-old does. An aspiring writer and illustrator, he begins third grade this fall. For a child who was never expected to function normally, Gavin continues to defy odds and prove that hard work and dedication can break any boundary. He knows that success is not measured by the end result, but by your will to push yourself. Let him push you through Mile 23.

Heather, Mile 24: When she was in the 7th grade, Heather was tied for second in a 100-meter dash when something unexpected happened: Her knees gave out and she fell-hard. Her condition worsened over the next several years, leading to a diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a group of connective tissue disorders that cause the joints to spontaneously dislocate. Heather was then diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis during her junior year of high school, and spent the better part of the year bedridden. Heather never gave up and by March 2013, she was back on her feet – she even marched in a Memorial Day parade. If you hit Mile 24 and feel like you can’t go any longer, think of Heather’s will to keep trying.

Kinzley, Mile 25: When she was just nine months old, Kinzley was diagnosed with Hurler’s Syndrome – a disease that can only be cured through a bone marrow transplant. After finding that her big sister was a match, Kinzley began a very aggressive chemotherapy treatment to prepare her body for a transplant. One year later, she is thriving. On Mile 25, Kinzley will be celebrating her life, as well as every child who has been cared for by Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Madison, Mile 26: At seven months old, when she wasn’t reaching typical milestones like rolling over or pushing herself up, Madison was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), type 1. Doctors usually predict a child with SMA 1 to live only two years, but Madison is a miracle: This year, she turned 16. Today, Madison relies on a GJ feeding tube for nutrition and uses a wheelchair for transportation. She’s battled several bouts with respiratory illnesses, but her passion for life helped guide her back to health. Madison is just like any other 16-year-old: She loves going to concerts and spending time with her friends. Let her miraculous journey carry you through Mile 26 – and all the way through the last .2.

These are our amazing children who will carry you through an amazing journey! We know they will inspire you as much as they inspire us!


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