14-year old raises money and awareness for cerebral palsy

cerebral palsy

Hunter Gandee refuses to let his brother, who has cerebral palsy, miss out on anything – even if it means carrying him to the top of a mountain.

Fourteen-year-old Hunter Gandee is headed to the Michigan Youth Wrestling Association State Championships on Friday, but that’s not the most remarkable thing this driven eighth grader has done this week. Hunter spearheaded an effort with his Bedford Junior High School Student Council to raise money and awareness for cerebral palsy.

Hunter’s 7-year-old brother, Braden, is his inspiration. “Braden has cerebral palsy. He’s just a wonderful kid,” says Hunter. “He’s always energetic and positive. He’s a great person to be around. He puts everyone around him in a better mood. He loves to wrestle, play outside, hang out with his friends and play video games.”

Hunter and his fellow Student Council members sold green wristbands that said “CP Awareness” on them. Together, they raised nearly $200 and more importantly, they raised awareness about CP. The money will be donated to the University of Michigan Cerebral Palsy Research Program.

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Tips for teens on taking responsibility for your own healthcare

Many kids struggle with the realities of becoming an adult and needing to “own” your own healthcare, but for teens and young adults with chronic medical conditions, the responsibilities can be even greater.

In this week’s new Kids4Kids video, a group of our teen advisors from Mott Children’s Hospital share their tips for teens and young adults on how to take an active role in your healthcare as you prepare to take full responsibility as an adult.

Tell us:

What advice do you have for teens starting to take responsibility for their healthcare?  Use the comments tool at the bottom of this post to share your tips.

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Navigating Unknown Challenges: One family’s journey through congenital cataracts, glaucoma and PHPV

mott blog - lillian knowlesOur darling daughter, Lilliann June, was nine days past her due date when she was born on September 25, 2013. It was a long labor — 48 hours — but well worth the wait. While we were in the hospital, Ryan noticed that her left eye was red. The pediatrician wasn’t alarmed, but had the hospital’s ophthalmologist take a look. He mentioned that she may have an issue with cataracts and glaucoma. We’d only heard those words used for older people, so we didn’t pay too much attention, until we were referred to another ophthalmologist for further examination.

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Raegan’s Story: Wilms Tumor Treatment at Mott Children’s Hospital

mott blog - raegan kromer block out cancerChristina Kromer looks back on it as a real whirlwind.

“It all happened so quickly,” said Christina of her daughter Raegan’s journey at University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

Her 16-month-old daughter Raegan seemed to be doing fine. She was a happy baby — very social and playful. She wasn’t showing any symptoms of distress.

So Christina, of Howell, was terrified when she went to change her daughter’s diaper before a nap one afternoon to find blood — lots of it.

Her local pediatrician told the Kromers to come to her office in Howell right away. There, after an ultrasound, Raegan was directed to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

“They were expecting us,” Christina and her husband Benjamin said about their initial experience at Mott. “They had a fellow from the surgery department ready to see us.”

Raegan underwent a CT scan and doctors confirmed the problem. Raegan’s right kidney had a form of kidney cancer known as a Wilms tumor, or nephroblastoma.

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Saving a baby’s life with a 3-D laser printer

Kaiba's story

Ever since he was six weeks old, baby Kaiba often stopped breathing.  The part of his windpipe that carries air to his left lung would suddenly collapse, leaving him unable to breathe and requiring emergency assistance every time.

Kaiba had a condition called tracheobronchomalacia. It’s a rare condition – about 1 in 2,200 babies are born with tracheomalacia and most children grow out of it by age 2 or 3, although it is often misdiagnosed as asthma that doesn’t respond to treatment.

Severe cases, like Kaiba’s, are even more rare, and they are very frightening.

It’s a condition that has bothered me for years.  Children die from tracheobronchomalacia, but I hoped that help could be found for these children.

Kaiba’s parents, April and Bryan, were left watching helplessly each time he stopped breathing, praying that something would change and doctor’s predictions that he would never leave the hospital again weren’t true.

They lived in Ohio but they were willing to go anywhere if it meant they could get help for Kaiba.  Fortunately, they didn’t have to go far.

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