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Nathan's Story

Nathan’s Story of Determination

This post was written by Nathan’s mom Kim Silpath “It’s not about me anymore, it’s about the other kids”- Nathan Every day, 43 parents have to hear the same words we heard a few years ago, “your child has cancer.” I still remember that moment, and the reaction from my son, Nathan. He was ready to fight it. Not just for himself, but fight and help other children with cancer too. I could not have been more proud. Nathan was an incredible child that had a passion for school, sports, and most importantly helping others.  He loved meteorology, biology, hiking, soccer, sled hockey, and football! Nathan’s cancer battle started in 2010 when he was at soccer practice and started mentioning how his leg was bothering him. Nathan noticed a bump on his leg, but like most kids, didn’t think much of it and continued playing soccer. As his pain increased, […]

A Local Partnership With Global Impact

How did two children’s healthcare organizations in Jacksonville, Florida care for kids 7,000 miles away? Jonathan Soud was a 12-year-old patient at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville, being treated for leukemia. During his treatments, his doctors and family spent a lot of time talking to him about his interests in travel and other cultures, especially the country of Mongolia. Eric Sandler, MD, is a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and chair of the department of pediatrics at Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville. He developed a special bond with Jonathan during treatments, sharing his own fascination with distant lands. Dr. Sandler also discovered that Jonathan had an interest in serving others. “After he passed away, his parents came to me and said they wanted to figure out a way to honor Jonathan’s memory,” said Dr. Sandler. “Since we had had all those conversations regarding Mongolia, his family decided to […]

Nut Allergies: What Friends and Family Need to Know | Promise: Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Nut Allergies: What Friends and Family Need to Know

For parents whose children live with an allergy to peanuts or tree nuts, avoiding the ingredients can become a matter of cautious routine. It’s never easy, but parents grow accustomed to avoiding certain foods and contaminants, watching for symptoms, and carrying the necessary supplies in case of an accidental exposure. But what about friends, friends’ parents, or other family members? It can be hard to give a simple overview of the dangers and limitations that come with a peanut or tree nut allergy – especially when you’re trying to allow your child to live a life that’s as close to normal as possible. Here’s what friends and family members should know about caring for or spending time with a child who has a nut allergy – whether it’s a sleepover, family vacation, or a babysitting gig. It’s a real thing. No matter what your own experiences with peanut or tree nut […]

Expert Question and Answer

Live Q&A: Spine & Scoliosis

In this video, recorded on June 28, 2021, Suken Shah, MD Chief, Spine & Scoliosis Center and Brett Shannon, MD, orthopedic surgeon, discuss and answer questions about scoliosis. Learn more about: When and why your child may need surgery. What surgery is like. Life with spinal fusion surgery. Complications and risks. If you have questions for Dr. Shah and Dr. Shannon, post them in the comments section on Facebook. Q: When a pediatrician first discovers a small curve in a young child, what is the best way to approach the new diagnosis? A: Kids under age 10 are more likely than older kids to need further monitoring, or even sometimes intervention from an orthopedic surgery team. If you detect any asymmetry of the back, or trunk, or shoulders, it’s important to have them come in and see us for a further evaluation. This includes the child’s history and a physical […]

When Your Child Complains of Chest Pain by Thomas Craig Edwards, MD | Promise, powered by Nemours Children's Health

When Your Child Has Chest Pain

When your child complains of chest pain, it’s natural to jump to heart-related conclusions. But most cases of chest pain in children aren’t caused by cardiac conditions. It can sometimes be hard to get a clear description of your child’s chest pain, but symptoms usually include: Tightness. Discomfort. Burning sensation. Pain when taking deep breaths. Coughing. Wheezing. So what should you do? Make an appointment with your child’s primary care physician, and keep in mind that chest pain in children is usually not heart-related. Chest pain can often be attributed to one or more of the following: Gastroesophogeal reflux disease, or ongoing heartburn Pain or inflammation in the chest wall Asthma Pneumonia Stress or anxiety Injury Viral illness Heading to the hospital is absolutely necessary in some situations. Seek emergency care if: Exercise brings about chest pain, or makes it worse. Chest pain occurs with rapid or irregular heartbeat. Fainting or […]

CHA Family Advocacy Week

Family Advocacy Week: Nemours Patients Share Their Stories

This past year and a half has been tough on all of us, especially our children and youth. For so many, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. But for Nemours patients Kate and Sebastian, the pandemic is just one of many life-changing events they’ve faced. And that’s why they are both sharing their medical journeys to members of Congress during the 2021 Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) “Speak Now for Kids’ Family Advocacy Week,” to increase awareness about the ongoing and essential care provided by children’s hospitals. Kate’s Story When she was just 2 years old, Kate McKinery was diagnosed with optic pathway glioma, a brain tumor that interferes with her optic nerve and impacts her sight. The tumor also causes hormone deficiencies, resulting in abnormal liver function, type 2 diabetes and a full height potential of around 4’2. Kate has undergone multiple procedures, tests and appointments […]

Celebrating Each Moment with Cancer in the Rearview

This blog post is written by Larry, the father of Maddie, a medulloblastoma patient who survived a brain tumor at the age of 2. Larry inspires us by sharing his daughter’s story. “Heroism is endurance for one moment more.”      George F. Kennan In the fall of 2008, at the age of two, our daughter Maddie was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a brain tumor that arises at the base of the brain and often spreads down through the spine via the spinal fluid. Over the course of the next ten months, Maddie underwent multiple brain and spine surgeries and intense chemotherapy protocols at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. After six cycles of chemo treatment, she had made amazing progress, knocking out 90% of her original disease. Because her scans were not completely cancer-free, she then went through an additional six weeks of radiation therapy. Conquering Cancer The effects of radiation on a 3-year-old can […]

Dynamic Dan!

This blog post is written by Amy, the mother of Dan, a mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) patient who passed away in 2016 at the age of 19. Amy is a Nemours nurse and her son’s story inspires us and others every day. When Dan was born in September 1996, we were told he was a healthy baby. He joined his sister, Haley, who was 2 years old and we thought our lives were perfect. We had this sweet little family with a precious little girl and strapping baby boy. We had just moved to a new house, both had good jobs, life was good. As Dan developed, he hit all his milestones except for one; he wasn’t talking by the age of 2. He had about 20 ear infections in his first 2 years of life and the pediatrician thought his lack of language was due to him not hearing well. We went to an ENT at […]

Expert Question and Answer

Expert Q&A: Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI)

Questions about osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), or “brittle bone disease,” are answered by pediatric orthopedics experts at Nemours Children’s Health. Q: When should people with OI get rods in the bones in the legs? A: We view realigning and rodding the bones in the legs, femurs and the tibias as a way to address deformity or bowing that is interfering with each patient’s motor development or causing recurrent fractures. We feel there is no minimum age, this is something that we really do value, continually assessing on an individualized basis to help each patient reach their potential. Q: How would you describe the use of orthotics in patients with OI? A: The word orthotics generally refers to all types of braces or things we put on patients’ arms or legs to help them function better. We use them on a case-by-case basis. Years ago we used to use heavy long leg […]

Expert Question and Answer

Expert Q&A: COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids

In this video, recorded on June 2, 2021, Kenneth Alexander, MD, PhD, Division Chief, Infectious Diseases at Nemours Children’s Hospital, and April Novotny, RN, MSN, CEN, CENP, Chief Nurse Executive and Vice President of Clinical Services at Lakeland Regional Health, share the latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccine for kids, as well as insights on how COVID-19 has been impacting children and what parents can do to help their children have a safe summer and a successful return to school in the fall. Learn more about: How COVID-19 is impacting kids today How to talk with your teen about the COVID-19 vaccine Why your child shouldn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as routine vaccines Tips for safely rejoining society after being vaccinated If you have a question for Dr. Alexander, post it in the comments section on Facebook. If my child already had covid, do they still need the […]

The bridge to a brighter future

The bridge to a brighter future

When Erin Pitts faced spinal surgery as a teen, she never imagined it would impact her life in other ways. Diagnosed with scoliosis at a young age, initially the care plan for the Jacksonville, Fla., resident was to pursue a non-surgical approach to correct the curves in her spine using a back brace. When her complex scoliosis proved resistant to treatment, however, surgery became the best option for long-term results. The experience ended up changing not only her health, but also her career trajectory. Pitts first learned of her condition in the sixth grade, when she began experiencing intense lower back pain. As her condition gradually began limiting her daily activities, her mom made an appointment with her pediatrician. He referred her to Nemours for an orthopedic assessment, where she became a patient of Eric Loveless, MD, department chair of orthopedics at Nemours and a board-certified pediatric surgeon who performs […]

Expert Question and Answer

Expert Q&A: Vascular Anomalies

In this Q&A, pediatric ENT physician Steven Andreoli, MD, and pediatric interventional radiologist, Craig Johnson, DO, discuss and answer parents’ questions about vascular anomalies. The experts begin by discussing common types of vascular anomalies. An infantile hemangioma is a type of birthmark that happens when a tangled group of blood vessels grows in or under a baby’s skin. Infantile hemangiomas become visible in the first few days to weeks after a baby is born. Hemangiomas that are visible at birth are called congenital hemangiomas. They grow differently and are treated differently. Infantile hemangiomas are much more common than congenital hemangiomas. There are two main types of infantile hemangiomas: infantile and deep. A lymphatic malformation is a clump of abnormal lymph vessels that form a growing, disorganized, spongy cluster of cysts. Lymphatic malformations appear as masses (unusual growths), but they are benign (not cancerous). A venous malformation is a place in the body where veins haven’t developed in the usual […]

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