Rochester, NY – The Golisano Children's Hospital announce their 2013 miracle kids as they honor their miracle makers here at luncheon Tuesday. Alyssa Morales is one of those miracle kids who are alive today because of the Golisano Children's Hospital. She spent time being treated for an eating disorder.
"The first time I went there I spent 17 days working on getting my body temperature back to normal and focusing on getting the nutrients I needed. But with that came the mental perspective; as eating disorder patients gain weight as they become healthy, they have a difficult time dealing with it. They had great therapists and nutritionists to help make sure the patient was okay as they physically recovered."
Her mother Michelle says that eating disorders are unlike treatment for cancer or diabetes because there is not set procedure on how to treat cognitive disorders. "The diagnosis is confusing at first because if it were cancer or diabetes there is more of a protocol on how to treat it. When it’s an eating disorder it’s much different. For a parent it's very overwhelming and scary because there is no medicine that is going to help her."
Alyssa has been outspoken in spreading the message about eating disorders, so much so that when she was 14-years-old she challenged Albany when they considered stopping the funding to hospitals that help individuals with eating disorders.
"We got to speak at this big table about how taking the comprehensive care centers out of the state budget would affect patients and family. It was empowering to talk to them because most of them don't see it from a personal standpoint they only see the money side of it." In addition to getting the funding re-instated, lawmakers decided to allocate more money to the comprehensive care centers.
The same will and determination can be found in all of the miracle kids. Courtney Wagner was faced with a brain tumor and has just recently cleared 18-months of being cancer free. The determined athlete kept her positive attitude with the help of the staff. "Everybody is so nice and really gets what you need and that’s great. I formed so many relationships that helped me get through the time I spent there."
Her mother Jamie describes her daughter as being strong through her treatment. "She knew from the get-go that she could beat this and that’s what she did." Her step-father Barry Clark says she treated cancer as a competition. "Courtney told her oncologist that she never finishes second and to count brain tumors as second place."
Anna Bliss was born with half a heart. Her mother Mary Margaret says that they would have been happy just to see her thrive. "There was nothing we could do for her but being able to have such confidence in the team gave us the little bit of hope that we had."
Her father says as parents it’s hard to let others take care of your child. "Being able to trust in the staff at the hospital, and understanding and knowing that they are doing the best that they can, allows us to cope with it and pick up when she is recovering and when it is our turn to treat Anna."
Anna turns 6 this September and spent her time running around and tried to steal the microphone away from her parents every chance she could.
WHAM 1180 along with our sister station 100.5 the Drive host a radiothon to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network and Golisano Children's Hospital where you will meet the rest of the miracle kids and their families.