Our cancer journey started with a sport physical

A routine check-up turned into a cancer diagnosis for our 13-year old daughter

BlockOutCancerLast year as my daughter, Kailyn, was starting eighth grade, she decided she wanted to play volleyball. She needed a physical to try out, so I took her to a local urgent care center for a basic sport physical. Because she had been diagnosed with a heart murmur when she was much younger, the doctor at the urgent care center would not give her permission to play and referred us to our pediatrician.

Luckily, her pediatrician was able to see her on a Saturday so she could get that sport physical done in time for tryouts. The appointment turned serious when the doctor started pushing on Kailyn’s stomach. She felt something hard and thought it might be her bowels. He told me to give her Metamucil and follow up on Monday for an ultrasound. On Monday, Kailyn called me from school to say that her stomach hurt. I took her straight to the ER.

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5 surprising things about big kids and car seats

Car seat safety not just a "baby" issue

is my child ready for a booster seatWhile most new parents are very focused on properly installing and using infant car seats, that same diligence tapers off as their children move on to forward-facing car seats and booster seats.

Here are five things about car seats and safety that may surprise you.

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After cancer I could barely stand, but now I’m doing the salsa

My Not-Quite Childhood Cancer Journey

natalie cameronAt this time last year, I could barely squat, walk or even stand.

This year, I’m learning ballroom dancing – taking on every style I can, from the smooth, flowing movements of the foxtrot to vigorous salsa and cha-cha steps.

It’s just one sign of how far I have come since being diagnosed with cancer.

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10-year-old boy worried about how Mott doctor may change his heart: Don’t make me a Michigan fan

Five years after being adopted from Russia, Toledo fourth grader becomes among first in Michigan to benefit from new device for congenital heart defect

After receiving care at Mott's Congenital Heart Center, Buckeye fan Ivan Applin, 10, may have just a little room for Michigan in his heart.

After receiving care at Mott’s Congenital Heart Center, Buckeye fan Ivan Applin, 10, may have just a little room for Michigan in his heart.

As pediatric cardiologist Dr. Ronald Grifka showed 10-year-old Ivan Applin the wire-framed device that would be used to fix the holes in his heart, the Toledo fourth grader had just one burning concern.

“He asked if the Michigan doctors were going to make his heart love University of Michigan instead of Ohio State,” his mother Jennifer laughs.

No, he would wake up loving the Buckeyes just as much as he ever did, Dr. Grifka, assured him. The procedure would also mean he could better enjoy his favorite activities, like soccer, for many more years to come.

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DIY sand-play activities for kids

sand activities for kidsHow much fun can you have with an inexpensive bag of playground sand? Hours! And you can do more than put it in a sandbox and play with some shovels and buckets (although, that’s pretty fun too). Here we tell you how to make acqua sand, sticky sand and slimy sand for hours of sand-play!
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Water exercise for kids

Kids love the water! Outdoor pools and the beach in the summer, indoor pools in the winter – swimming is year round fun!

In addition to swimming and splashing, there are also lots of ways to incorporate water exercise into pool time.

Watch physical therapist Kendra VanWasshenova demonstrate several great exercises for developing motor skills, coordination and strength in the pool this summer.

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