NEW YORK -- From November 16-18, 100.7 WHUD will host the 12th Annual Radiothon For the Kids, cared for at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth). The annual event is a fundraiser for the hospital, which provides children from the Hudson Valley with life-changing and lifesaving care including open-heart surgery, brain surgery, cancer treatments, trauma and burn care, organ transplants, advanced neonatal services and other advanced pediatric care. Here is the story of one child who will be interviewed during the Radiothon and benefitted from the hospital’s lifesaving treatment.
Ava Jean, Age 8 - Craniopharyngioma (Brain Tumor)
When Ava Jean was seven years old, she had difficulty concentrating in school. Her parents, Darren and Gina, initially thought Ava Jean’s behavior was normal for a child her age. But as the school year went on, her symptoms worsened. At a routine check-up, Ava Jean’s pediatrician said her eye exam was not perfect and suggested making an appointment with an eye doctor. When the eye doctor saw fluid in the nerves behind her eyes, he asked Ava Jean’s parents to schedule emergency CAT and MRI scans.
Reports confirmed that Ava Jean had craniopharyngioma, a benign brain tumor near the pituitary gland. “All of a sudden, everything changed,” says Darren. Neurosurgeons at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital had to perform a 14-hour surgery to remove the majority of Ava Jean’s tumor. Although a tumor of this kind is not cancerous, surgery is extremely complicated because it occurs in a location in the brain that contains delicate structures like the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, the carotid artery, and the optic nerve. To treat what little of the tumor could not be cleared due to risks, Ava Jean underwent six weeks of radiation treatment. While she continues to be monitored, Ava Jean is now finished with her rigorous course of care and is doing very well today. She completed second grade ahead of her class’s reading level, enjoys art and crafts, and loves spending time with her many friends!
To make a donation during the live Radiothon, the community can call (888) 499-5437 or make a secure, online donation at www.whud.com. Online donations are also being accepted prior to and during the event at events.westchestermedicalcenter.com/mfchradiothon. Also, community members interested in supporting Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital are welcome to visit the hospital’s lobby during the Radiothon. Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is located on the Valhalla, New York campus of WMCHealth at 100 Woods Road.