Through the partnership with Aaron’s, the Dream teamed up with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for a season-long “Armed with a Dream” initiative which honors patients currently undergoing treatment or rehabilitation at Children's. At each home game, Atlanta Dream players honor a current patient at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta by displaying the patient’s name on their arm. Below are our honorees for the 2010 season:
Jordan, age 9 of Warner Robbins, underwent an above-the-knee amputation after a lawnmower accident. After undergoing orthopaedic surgery at the Egleston campus of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and receiving a prosthesis and physical therapy at the Scottish Rite, Jordan has become an excellent athlete. She competes nationally in a variety of sports through the Challenge Athletes Foundation and also is an accomplished junior golf player.
Victor, age 14, underwent a heart transplant at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Sibley Heart Center in September 1998. Each year, he participates in the U.S. Transplant Games. This year, won the silver medal in the three-on-three basketball competition and took fifth in the ballroom dancing competition with his mother. Unfortunately, Victor caught the flu during this time, a life-threatening condition for him. Victor and his mother spent a month in the hospital in Madison, where he lost 80 percent of his muscle mass. The heart transplant team at Children's determined that he needed rehabilitation to regain normal function. Victor and Georgia have spent two weeks in the Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (CIRU), where he has undergone intense therapy each day. Victor will be discharged from Children's on Thursday, Sept. 16, just in time to watch the Dream in the WNBA playoffs.
Erin, age 8, was injured during an attack by a pit bull while playing in her yard. Due to trauma sustained, Erin lost her left arm below the elbow and her right arm has significant fractures and tissue injuries. Erin received treatment in the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit (CIRU) at Children’s at Scottish Rite, where staff and physicians fell in love with her positive attitude and determined spirit. She is currently receiving treatment in Orthotics and Prosthetics at Children’s. In spite of suffering extensive injuries, Erin is a happy-go-lucky girl who is bursting with personality. She loves basketball and soccer.
Kyle was a healthy 12-year-old when he began suffering from chronic fatigue in May 2009. Diagnosed with dysplastic kidneys, a condition in which the kidneys do not properly develop before birth, he began several months of hemodialysis, a grueling treatment that lasts four to five hours several times per week. Faced with failing kidneys, Kyle received a kidney transplant in September 2009. Although Kyle has dealt with a wealth of medical issues over the past year, he carries a consistently positive attitude. He has quickly become a role model for children with renal (or kidney) disease and is always willing to talk to other patients who are having a hard time. Kyle is a gifted speaker and aspires to be President of the United States.
Trenvious, age 10 of Tifton, has a history of dilated cardiomyopathy. This condition caused his heart to enlarge, stretch and weaken—it could no longer pump blood normally. In early 2010, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, a complication often associated with dilated cardiomyopathy. Doctors at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Sibley Heart Center knew Trenvious needed a heart transplant to survive. In May 2010, he underwent open-heart surgery at Children’s and received a donor heart. As a result of his life-saving heart transplant, Trenvious is growing stronger every day.
Lance, age 6, was diagnosed with end stage cardiomyopathy, a congenital heart defect that causes the heart muscle to become inflamed and weak. Lance received a life-saving heart transplant at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Sibley Heart Center in 2009. Since his transplant, he has grown stronger and become more active each day, able to function like any other 6-year-old. Lance and his family live in Winder, Ga.
Raynel, age 5, was diagnosed with encephalitis in 2008. His family moved to Marietta, GA several months later, where he was admitted to the Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (CIRU) at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. After undergoing a month of intense therapy as an inpatient, Raynel transitioned to the Day Rehabilitation Program at Children’s. Raynel currently receives audiology services and physical, occupational and speech therapy as an outpatient at Children’s. As part of Raynel’s physical therapy, he is working to achieve some form of independent mobility without his wheelchair. He loves basketball, so his therapist has worked to incorporate the game into his therapeutic activities. He is able to walk, with support, to get a basketball and to pull to a standing position to put the ball in the hoop. These activities have helped increase his walking endurance—his therapists have to keep moving the basketball goal further away as he improves.
Sherwana, age 17, was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis (NF) at birth. NF is a genetically-inherited disorder in which the nerve tissue grows tumors that may be harmless or may cause serious damage by compressing nerves and other tissues. She has endured more than 20 surgeries in her lifetime, which have included the amputation of her left leg and a tracheotomy procedure. Sherwana is a big Atlanta Dream fan, and learned about the Armed with a Dream game while attending the team's home opener.
J.J. was diagnosed with leukemia on March 31, 2006—just one week before his 7th birthday. He is now in remission, but JJ continues to visit the Aflac Cancer Center once a month for maintenance treatment. J.J. has received physical, occupational and speech therapy to address issues resulting from leukemia and a bone marrow transplant. He has been treated in the Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (CIRU) and the Day Rehabilitation Program at Children’s. J.J. has had a long journey of recovery and was out of school for two years. He was able to return to school in August 2009 and is progressing well. J.J. continues to receive rehabilitative therapy on an outpatient basis at Children’s Healthcare of Fayette. For fun, J.J. enjoys wrestling and hip hop dancing. His journey has taught him that no matter what life gives you, you have to find the positive in everything.
Alyssa, a brain tumor patient, has pulled through with her courage and strength. Recently she has left the rehab unit due to her most recent hospital stay and today she came walking into our clinic for her visit. She was described as the perfect candidate to participate in the Armed with a Dream program because of her courageous spirit.
Jason, age 12, was diagnosed with posterior urethral valves at birth, and began grueling hemodialysis treatments at age 7. After 5 years of dialysis treatments 3 days a week, 3 hours each treatment, he finally received a kidney transplant on Christmas Eve in 2009, and spent the first three weeks of 2010 in the hospital. He is currently doing well and continuing to improve with each day.
Ashton, age 14, has Kikuchi Fugimoto Disease (aka Necrotizing Lymphadenitis) and Behcet’s Disease, both of which are extremely rare. In October 2009, she was barely able to walk across a normal sized room without loss of breath, could not run, jump, hop, skip or do anything a typical teenager could do. She was severely de-conditioned and overweight due to medications and extreme bed rest. She is now running the halls and recently passed an Army family physical fitness test which included sit ups, push-ups and sprints. Best of all is her remarkable weight loss. She loves the Atlanta Dream and loves to tell her story to anyone and everyone that will listen. Her personality is tremendous. Her mother is in the military at Fort Gillem.
Darrell, age 14, suffers from unspecified polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. He is treated in Rehabilitation Services at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Fayette.
Caitlin, age 19, sustained severe injuries to her legs in a boating accident in August 2009. She underwent rehabilitative therapy in both the Comprehensive Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit (CIRU) and the Day Rehabilitation Program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. An avid sports lover, Caitlin currently participates in therapy on an outpatient basis through the Sports Medicine Program at Children’s. Her therapists describe her as an outgoing girl with a courageous spirit.
Ryan, age 11, has Dravet Syndrome, which is a severe form of epilepsy. Prior to starting a new diet, he had tried and failed 12 medications and experienced 90 seizures a month. Within the first month of being on the keto diet, his seizures have dropped significantly and he is continuing to improve.
Scott, age 20, has had epilepsy since birth. He has refractory epilepsy that has been greatly reduced and controlled by the keto diet. He is an avid basketball player and LOVES to watch the sport.