DCH News

Driscoll's McAllen clinic gives away school supplies courtesy of H-E-B

August 30, 2011
Pictured, left to right, are: Margaret Kasofsky, Auxiliary member; Juan M. Davila; Juan Daniel Davila, a Driscoll patient; Kassandra Jasso, H-E-B public affairs; Sherry Cruz; Socorro Franz, Auxiliary member; and (sitting) Rory Steven Cruz, Driscoll patient.
Pictured, left to right, are: Margaret Kasofsky, Auxiliary member; Juan M. Davila; Juan Daniel Davila, a Driscoll patient; Kassandra Jasso, H-E-B public affairs; Sherry Cruz; Socorro Franz, Auxiliary member; and (sitting) Rory Steven Cruz, Driscoll patient.
McALLEN - The Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen recently received a $1,000 donation from H-E-B to support their annual Back-To-School Supply Giveaway for their patients. Throughout August, Auxiliary members gave each patient a package of school supplies appropriate for their grade level. Driscoll's Auxiliary relies on contributions from the community to help make a positive impact in the lives of South Texas children. To learn more about helping, call the Auxiliary at (956) 688-1235 or (956) 289-3170.

Wig gives confidence to newly diagnosed cancer patient, 13

August 29, 2011
Event at Driscoll Children's Hospital will benefit cancer patients who've lost their hair

CORPUS CHRISTI - It all started about two months ago with an unusual lump on her neck. At first, Taylor Garcia was told it was a staph infection and was given antibiotics and steroids to treat it. After a month, the lump wasn't making any progress and another lump appeared.

"Her ear, nose and throat specialist decided to remove the lump and biopsy it," said Jennifer Garcia, Taylor's mom. "Originally, the pathologist said, 'Looks fine, just send it off for further testing and we'll see.' None of us expected it to come back as Hodgkin's."

On July 7, Taylor found out she had stage II Hodgkin's lymphoma, and her life changed suddenly. She was just six days shy of her 13th birthday. The next day she had an appointment with an oncologist at Driscoll Children's Hospital's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.

Taylor, who takes her hair very seriously, often changed her dark brown locks, from cutting them short and choppy with red streaks to lightening them to a caramel color. Then she learned she would lose her hair from chemotherapy treatment.

"I didn't really care what was going on until the doctor told me I was going to lose my hair," she said. "I really like my hair. I get it done every month so I was pretty upset."

Upon hearing she would be losing her hair, Taylor went to a family friend and local hairdresser and requested blue streaks. Then, less than 10 days after her first chemotherapy treatment at Driscoll, she started losing her hair; a little in the shower and more and more as she brushed through it.

"It started a week after we dyed it, so I decided to cut it short. A couple days after that, I ended up shaving it all," she said.

During an appointment at Driscoll, Child Life Specialist Mara Ellis spoke with Taylor about getting a wig from an organization called Children with Hair Loss. Two days after she shaved her head, Taylor's wig came in.

"Hair loss is the most visible sign that a person is battling cancer," Ellis said. "Children and adolescents want to feel like they are the same as their peers. Wigs give them the confidence to not be judged when they go to the mall and gives them the courage to go back to school and hang out with friends."

Although Taylor lost her beloved hair, her new wig allows her to change up her look when she wants to. In fact, she got it cut to the style that her hair was before she lost it and bought blue clip-on streaks to add to it.

"I actually think the wig looks a lot better than my regular hair!," she said, laughing.

Last year, Driscoll Children's Hospital commemorated Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by inviting the community to have their hair cut so it could be made into wigs for young cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy. The event was such an overwhelming success that Driscoll is doing it again this year on Sept. 19. Hairstylists from several local salons will be on hand to cut hair and donate it to Children with Hair Loss.

"My hairstylist will be one of the people there," Taylor said, smiling. "I'm going to help her."

The public is invited to show their support and donate their hair at the event, which is sponsored by ExxonMobil. There will be commemorative t-shirts for sale, door prizes, food provided by Freebirds World Burrito and music. Additionally, a bloodmobile from Coastal Bend Blood Center will be on site accepting donations.

Hair must be at least eight inches from the ponytail and chemically treated hair will be accepted as long as it's healthy. Hair will be clipped and given a straight cut, but not styled.

"We want to celebrate our little warriors and let them know that we - not just Driscoll Children's Hospital, but the whole community - are standing behind them and supporting them," Ellis said.

  • What: Childhood Cancer Awareness Month hair cutting event and blood drive

  • When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19

  • Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.

  • Information: (361) 694-5311

Becker joins Driscoll as pediatric nephrologist

August 22, 2011
Amy Becker, MD
Amy Becker, MD
CORPUS CHRISTI - Amy Becker, MD, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as a pediatric nephrologist. Previously she served as the director of the Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship Program and was the assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She was also on the medical staff at Children's Medical Center, Parkland Memorial Hospital and the University of Texas Southwestern University Hospital - St. Paul, all in Dallas.

Dr. Becker earned her medical degree in 2000 at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. She performed an internship and residency at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and continued with a fellowship in nephrology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. In 2010, Dr. Becker earned a master's degree in clinical science at the University of Texas Southwestern Graduate School.

She is certified in general pediatrics and pediatric nephrology by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Edinburg Cattlemen's RoundUp will appeal to visitors, ranchers alike

August 11, 2011
EDINBURG - On Saturday, August 13, young 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) members and the Hidalgo County Extension Office will team up for a great cause. The 24th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp benefiting Driscoll Children's Hospital will begin at 10 a.m. at the Edinburg Livestock Auction, 3418 N. Closner Blvd.

A variety of products and services will be auctioned at the RoundUp that will appeal to visitors and ranchers alike. Members of 4-H and the FFA will offer a variety of homemade baked goods. All of this year's proceeds will go toward new medical equipment and other items for Driscoll Children's Hospital.

To make a donation and support local 4-H and FFA students and their efforts, visit the Driscoll Children's Hospital web site at www.driscollchildrens.org, call Driscoll at 956-223-0687 or call the Hidalgo County Extension Office at 956-383-1026.

  • What: 24th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp

  • When: 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13

  • Where: Edinburg Livestock Auction, 3418 N. Closner Blvd.

  • Information: 956-223-0687 or 956-383-1026

Treasure boxes to be donated for Driscoll's Rio Grande Valley patients

August 09, 2011
WHAT: As a philanthropic project, the Texas state organization of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, a sorority of women educators, will deliver over 100 treasure boxes filled with toys to Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen. The treasure boxes will be given to patients at all of Driscoll's Rio Grande Valley clinics to brighten their spirits during their checkups and treatment.

WHEN: 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10

WHERE: Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza - McAllen, 1120 E. Ridge Rd.

Course at Driscoll Children's Hospital gives pediatric critical care providers an edge

August 03, 2011
For the second year, Driscoll Children's Hospital will offer the Pediatric Fundamental Critical Care Support (PFCCS) course for healthcare providers, including emergency medicine physicians, nurses, transport teams and others who care for unstable, critically ill or injured pediatric patients.

"This course is designed to complement the participants' knowledge and enhance their careers," said Karl Serrao, MD, course director and pediatric intensivist at Driscoll. "It will provide them with current, leading-edge critical care information that can help them save lives."

As one of only three children's hospitals in Texas offering the course, Driscoll hopes to attract healthcare professionals from all over the nation. The last course in April included participants from North Carolina and New Mexico.

"We anticipate an increase in participants from throughout the state and nationally," Dr. Serrao said.

The next PFCCS course is open to resident physicians only - locally and nationally - and will be held August 26-27. A course to be held October 7-8 is open to all healthcare professionals.

Continuing medical education credit is available through the course, as well as continuing nursing education. Driscoll Children's Hospital provides up to 16 contact hours for successful completion.

To learn more or to register for the PFCCS course, contact Chris Joyal, RN, BSN, CPN, at (361) 694-6142 or christopher.joyal@dchstx.org.

  • What: Pediatric Fundamental Critical Care Support course

  • When: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 26-27 (residents only); 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 7-8

  • Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital, , Health Center, Dr. McIver Furman Room II, 3533 S. Alameda St.

  • Cost: Driscoll employees: $60 for books; non-Driscoll physicians: $350 (includes books); other healthcare professionals: $275 (includes books)

  • Information: (361) 694-6142 or christopher.joyal@dchstx.org

Annual Cattlemen's RoundUp benefiting Driscoll Children's Hospital coming to Cuero

July 29, 2011
CUERO - On Tuesday, August 9, young 4-H members and the DeWitt County Extension Office will team up for a great cause. The 24th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp benefiting Driscoll Children's Hospital will begin at 6 p.m. at the Cuero VFW Hall, 934 U.S. Highway 183 N.

A silent auction will be held showcasing a variety of products and services that will appeal to guests, including plants, baked goods, livestock feed and other items from local businesses. Members of 4-H will offer a variety of homemade baked goods. All of this year's proceeds will go toward new medical equipment and other items for Driscoll Children's Hospital.

To make a donation and support local 4-H students and their life-saving efforts, you can visit the Driscoll Children's Hospital web site at www.driscollchildrens.org, call Driscoll at (361) 694-6401 or call the DeWitt County Extension Office at (361) 275-0816.

  • What: 24th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp

  • When: 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 9

  • Where: Cuero VFW Hall, 934 U.S. Highway 183 N.

  • Information: (361) 694-6401 or (361) 275-0816

Alice RoundUp to benefit Driscoll Children's Hospital

July 21, 2011
ALICE - On Tuesday, July 26, young 4-H members and the Jim Wells County Extension Office will team up for a great cause. The 24th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp benefiting Driscoll Children's Hospital will begin at 11 a.m. at the Gulf Coast Livestock Auction in Alice.

A variety of products and services will be auctioned at the RoundUp that will appeal to visitors, like ranching supplies, baked goods, arts and crafts, gift cards, barbecue packages and hunter's equipment. Young members of 4-H will offer a variety of homemade goods. All of this year's proceeds will go toward new medical equipment and other items for Driscoll Children's Hospital.

To make a donation and support local 4-H students and their life-saving efforts, you can visit the Driscoll Children's Hospital web site at www.driscollchildrens.org, call Driscoll at (361) 694-6401 or call the Jim Wells County Extension Office at (361) 668-5705.

  • What: 24th annual South Texas Cattlemen's RoundUp

  • When: 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 26

  • Where: Gulf Coast Livestock Auction, Alice

  • Information: (361) 668-5705 or (361) 694-6401

Library of specialized toys available to children with disabilities

July 18, 2011
Specialized toys from Driscoll's Toy Tech Lending Library are therapeutic for patients like Emilio, 5, who has tuberous sclerosis and epilepsy. Assisting him are Rachel Garcia, certified occupational therapy assistant (middle) and Amanda Germann, speech pathologist.
Specialized toys from Driscoll's Toy Tech Lending Library are therapeutic for patients like Emilio, 5, who has tuberous sclerosis and epilepsy. Assisting him are Rachel Garcia, certified occupational therapy assistant (middle) and Amanda Germann, speech pathologist.
CORPUS CHRISTI - It has been said that children learn best through play. With this in mind, and with support from the Easter Seals of Greater Houston and the Blanche Moore Foundation, Driscoll Children's Hospital's Rehabilitation Services Department created a unique library that loans specialized toys to children of all ages with all types of disabilities.

According to Susan Fields, director of Rehabilitation Services at Driscoll, children explore their environment through play. "When we can help them play independently, we are helping them become independent learners. This is an important foundation for developing life skills," she says.

The new Toy Tech Lending Library at Driscoll provides a variety of toys adapted for children with varying degrees of motor disabilities. The toys, which are switch activated, can be used at home to practice skills a child has learned in his or her therapy sessions.

Since these toys are adapted especially for children with handicaps, they aren't readily available at a toy store and are often expensive.

A $30 toy, when adapted, can easily cost $100. However, through Driscoll's Lending Library, families are able to check out these adapted toys at no cost.

Just as with a book library, the toys are checked out for two to four weeks at a time. Upon return, another toy can be checked out. About 20 toys are available, and not just to Driscoll patients. All children in the community with disabilities are invited to borrow toys from the Toy Tech Lending Library.

Mary Ann Sosa's granddaughter, Madison, 5, is a patient at Driscoll. She suffers from cerebral palsy and often borrows toys from the Lending Library.

"It's a great thing. It really helps at home," Sosa says. "We are able to work at home on the things her therapists want her to work on. Right now she's learning to use her arms more."

Sosa explains that the toys make Madison want to use her arms more because of the reaction she gets from her grandmother.

"When Madison pushes the button on a toy, she notices it plays music and I cheer her on. She loves the attention she gets!"

Fields hopes more families take advantage of the Lending Library.

"We just started offering toys for check-out in April, so it's a fairly new program," she says. "The more these toys are utilized, the more toys we are able to receive through the grant."

For more information or to set up an orientation to the Toy Tech program, please call Driscoll's Rehabilitation Services Department at (361) 694-5678.

Santa Claus is coming to Brownsville in July

July 18, 2011
BROWNSVILLE - It's Christmas in July at Driscoll Children's Specialty Center - Brownsville! The Brownsville Driscoll Volunteer Auxiliary will hold its 5th annual Christmas in July event Thursday, July 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. The community is invited to stop by and drop off an unwrapped toy to help ensure that all patients who receive treatment this coming holiday season will have a toy to take home. Santa Claus will be there to receive the toys.

"This is always such an amazing event, especially to see the Driscoll volunteers and the Brownsville community come together by donating toys in order to make certain our patients have an extra special Christmas," said Lizette Saenz, director of Volunteer Services for Driscoll Children's Hospital.

To make a donation to this worthwhile effort or to show your support, stop by Driscoll Children's Specialty Center - Brownsville on Thursday or call the Volunteer Services Department at (361) 694-5011. Checks may be made out to Driscoll Children's Specialty Center Auxiliary.

  • What: Christmas in July

  • When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 21

  • Where: Driscoll Children's Specialty Center - Brownsville, 5500 N. Expressway 77/83

  • Information: (361) 694-5011