Celebrity Celebration will showcase Driscoll patients' artwork
September 17, 2013
Annual holiday cards, Christmas storybook with their designs go on sale tomorrow
CORPUS CHRISTI - Driscoll's annual Hollywood-style Celebrity Celebration will be held tomorrow to mark the release of the hospital's 2013 holiday card collection and Christmas storybook. Celebrities at the event will be past and present Driscoll patients who created designs for the items.
"This is one of the largest, most exciting annual events we have and the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital is proud to put it on," said Lizette Saenz, director of Volunteer Services. "We look forward to rolling out the red carpet and putting the spotlight on our little stars."
For this annual tradition, Driscoll patients from throughout South Texas drew pictures for nine holiday cards and a Christmas storybook. Community members selected the artwork to be used. Proceeds from sales of the items will go toward the Marcia K. Wilcox scholarship, which has benefited more than 90 Driscoll cancer patients since its inception.
This year's holiday card artists are:
Audrey Braugh, 9, of Corpus Christi
Mia Martinez, 12, of Corpus Christi
Melissa Gallardo, 11, of Port Isabel
Madeline Robinson, 11, of Corpus Christi
Keiana Vardon, 6, of Corpus Christi
Rachel Bundrick, 11, of Corpus Christi
Parker Mayfield, 3, of Taft
Teresa Esparza, 9, of Corpus Christi
Nyah Arismendez, 7, of Beeville
Storybook artists are:
Korin Cruz, 8, of Robstown
Aldrick Judd, 8, of Corpus Christi
Sabrina Cruz, 9, of Corpus Christi
Charleigh Wilson, 7, of Corpus Christi
Aidan Flores, 9, of Aransas Pass
Melissa Gallardo, 11, of Port Isabel
Rachel Bundrick, 11, of Corpus Christi
Jennifer Gonzales, 5, of Deer Park
Wendy Inocencio, 8, of McAllen
Emily Haefs, 16, of Corpus Christi
The children's artwork will be unveiled after they enter Driscoll's auditorium on a red carpet amid camera flashes and applause. Then they'll autograph their work for family, friends and fans. Following the celebration, they'll be treated to a limo ride to Gattitown for some food and fun.
The holiday cards and Christmas storybook can be purchased through Driscoll's web site, www.driscollchildrens.org, and at the hospital's Carousel Gift Shop. For more information, call (361) 694-5011 or 1-800-DCH-LOVE.
What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual Celebrity Celebration
When: 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital auditorium, 3533 S. Alameda St.
Driscoll Children's Hospital to offer free car seat inspections
September 13, 2013
WHAT: In conjunction with Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 15-21, 2013, and National Seat Check Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 (www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/cps), the Injury Prevention Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital will offer free inspections of child car safety seats. Parents are invited to bring their car seats and receive instruction on proper use and safety.
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21
WHERE: Injury Prevention Program building (portable building behind the Health Center), Driscoll Children's Hospital, 3533 S. Alameda St.
INFO: (361) 694-6700
Los pacientes con cáncer de Driscoll muestran tener "Lo que se Necesita"
August 28, 2013
Evento planeado para el 7 de Septiembre conmemorando el mes de
El Collar de "sobreviviente" de Rhianna Brizuela es una fuente de orgullo para la niña de 4 años de edad.
Concientización acerca del Cáncer Infantil con temática, "Guerreros"
CORPUS CHRISTI -Los pacientes con cáncer del Hospital Pediátrico Driscoll fácilmente pueden describirse como guerreros. Se han adaptado a luchar contra una enfermedad potencialmente mortal con resistencia y valentía, al mismo tiempo que mantienen a flote la moral de sus familias.
El 7 de Septiembre, Driscoll honrará el espíritu combativo de sus pacientes de cáncer conmemorar el mes de concientización sobre el cáncer infantil con una celebración con temática de guerreros en el Museo del USS Lexington en la bahía. Cerca de 150 pacientes y sus familias de todo el Sur de Texas han sido invitados. En consonancia con el tema de Guerrero, cada paciente recibirá una plaquita de identidad como recuerdo. Concejala de la ciudad de Corpus Christi, Lillian Riojas, leerá una proclamación declarando Septiembre 7, Día de Conciencia contra el Cáncer Infantil y el puente de la bahía cercana se iluminará en amarillo especialmente para la ocasión.
Aquí tienen información de tres héroes que planean asistir al evento:
4 años de edad
Detrás de la bonita sonrisa, conducta tímida y dulce Rhianna es una niña fuerte que luchó contra el cáncer desde que era sólo un bebé. Su madre, Itzamara Pedraza, la llevó a un pediatra cuando tenía cuatro meses porque tenía protuberancias del tamaño de una moneda de 10 centavos en el vientre y sus axilas. Se descubrió que Rihanna tiene neuroblastoma, y aún más preocupante para su madre que la enfermedad se encontraba en etapa cuatro de acuerdo a una escala de gravedad de cuatro etapas.
"Estaba en shock", dijo la Sra. Pedraza. "La primera semana sólo lloraba. Luego me detuve porque tenía que ser fuerte para mi hija."
Ms. Pedraza decidió llevar a Rhianna al Hospital Pediátrico Driscoll para el tratamiento especializado que necesitaba. En Driscoll, fue sometida a numerosos exámenes, análisis y radiografías antes de comenzar tratamientos de quimioterapia regular. Fue entonces cuando Rhianna mostró su verdadero Temple.
"Era sólo un bebé, pero nunca estuvo de mal humor o algo así," dijo la Sra. Pedraza. "No sé dónde sacó esa fuerza. Ella es una niña de fuerte cabeza".
En Junio de 2009, la glándula suprarrenal derecha de Rhianna fue extraída por un cirujano de Driscoll para prevenir el regreso del cáncer, dijo su madre. También se le insertó un mediport en el pecho - un aparato a través del cual los médicos pueden administrar medicamentos de quimioterapia en un vaso sanguíneo o extraer una muestra de sangre.
La Sra. Pedraza dijo que su hija ahora se encuentra en el lado "más seguro", pero que tiene que venir a Driscoll, una vez al año para visitas de seguimiento.
Difundir el mensaje de que el cáncer puede afectar cualquier persona independientemente de su edad es importante para la Sra. Pedraza.
"Haré cualquier cosa para ayudar a crear conciencia de que los niños también se enferman de cáncer", dijo.
7 años de edad
Dijo su madre, Anna Cavazos, " fue un momento que cambió mi vida" cuando Sara fue diagnosticada con cáncer en su riñón y ganglios abdominales, el año pasado. La buena noticia era que, debido a la edad de Sara y la falta de una predisposición genética, el cáncer de riñón era "muy tratable", dijo La Sra. Cavazos.
Los médicos en el Hospital Pediátrico Driscoll rápidamente desarrollaron un plan de tratamiento para Sara que primero incluyó la extracción de un tumor canceroso de su riñón, que se realizó justo antes de Navidad, seguida por tratamientos de radiación y quimioterapia en Driscoll Children Medical Plaza en McAllen.
Como es común con los pacientes sometidos a tratamiento contra el cáncer, Sara perdió su pelo. Y debido a su inmunidad baja, tuvo que recibir su educación en casa. Sin embargo, ella manejó los retos como un soldado, inspirando a su propia familia.
"Es una luchadora, un verdadero héroe," dijo La Sra. Cavazos. "Que casi nunca se ve cabizbaja o deprimida. Su frase favorita es, "yo lo tengo mamá, lo venceré. Creo que ha sido más difícil para sus padres, que para ella".
La Sra. Cavazos dijo que un punto alto a través del viaje de Sara con cáncer ocurrió en junio pasado cuando asistió al "Camp Star Trails", un campamento de verano en Burton diseñado para niños con enfermedades crónicas y discapacidades. Una de las hermanas mayores de Sara la acompañó.
"Lo pasaron muy bien", dijo La Sra. Cavazos. "Tuvieron la oportunidad de conocer a otros niños con enfermedades, relacionarse con ellos y darse cuenta que no son los únicos que batallan con esto".
La perseverancia de Sara no ha sido en vano. Recientemente su cabello empezó a crecer, y en Julio, los médicos de Driscoll confirmaron que se encuentra libre de cáncer, dijo La Sra. Cavazos.
"Recibió el 'Todo Claro'" una semana después de su cumpleaños. Ahora está muy entusiasmada en volver a la escuela y estar con sus amigos nuevamente."
6 años de edad
Cada jueves, Matthew puede encontrarse jugando sus videojuegos favoritos entre los exámenes de laboratorio y tratamientos de quimioterapia en el Centro de Cáncer y de trastornos Sanguíneos de Driscoll. Ahora se encuentra en la fase de mantenimiento del tratamiento para leucemia linfoblástica aguda, una enfermedad que tomó por sorpresa a sus padres cuando fue diagnosticado por los médicos de Driscoll hace un poco más de dos años, a los 4 años.
"Al principio estábamos en shock total, casi en negación," dijo la madre de Matthew, Melinda Garza. "Creo que la negación terminó cuando su hermana me preguntó si su hermano iba a morir. Eso fue como un despertador".
Aunque a Mateo le faltan alrededor de 15 meses de tratamientos contra el cáncer, él se ve tan sano y juguetón como cualquier niño de 6 años de edad. El año pasado, participó en el programa "Piloto por 1 Día", en el cual pacientes de Driscoll y sus familias son los invitados de honor a una de las Estaciones Aéreas Naval local. El aprecia mucho atesora el traje de vuelo a medida que le dieron los pilotos en la Base Aérea Naval de Kingsville, dijo su madre.
El espíritu de lucha de Mateo ha sido una bendición para su familia, especialmente durante los primeros dos desafiantes años de tratamiento.
"Ha sido increíble", dijo la Sra. Garza. "Él jamás se ha quejado. Él nos ha dado la fuerza para seguir adelante."
El padre de Matthew, Gabriel Garza, recordó un reciente viaje que él y su hijo hicieron al rancho familiar en las afueras de Alice después de una sesión de quimioterapia.
Dijo, "Le gusta montar sobre el tractor y poner maíz para los animales, así que fue conmigo". "Él incluso no se perturbó por la quimio. Fue como si nada hubiese sucedido pasado".
Harper recognized for contributions to child abuse pediatrics
August 27, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recognized Nancy Harper, MD, FAAP, medical director of the Child Abuse Resource and Evaluation (CARE) Team at Driscoll Children's Hospital, for her participation as a member of the planning group for PREP®: CAP An Update of Child Abuse Pediatrics, held in Norfolk, Va., July 11-14, 2013.
A continuing medical education activity, PREP®: CAP is a comprehensive update of child abuse pediatrics that emphasizes the process of evidence-based clinical decision-making and focuses on the scientific basis for the clinical practice of pediatric medicine. Member contributions to this educational effort are recognized as a gift to the improvement of care for infants, children and adolescents.
"The Academy is a top provider of quality Pediatric Continuing Medical Education," said Robert Perelman, MD, FAAP, director of the AAP Department of Education. "It is through the continued commitment of outstanding members, like Dr. Harper, that enables the Academy to accomplish the excellence in education that has become our goal of achievement."
ExxonMobil gift to Driscoll will aid children's nutrition
August 26, 2013
WHAT: Representatives from ExxonMobil will present a check for $5,000 to Driscoll Children's Hospital. The funds will be used by Driscoll's Child Abuse Resource & Evaluation (CARE) Team to purchase specially designed dietary plates and educational materials that will be used to educate parents on healthy food and nutrition choices for their children.
WHEN: 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27
WHERE: Driscoll Children's Hospital, main lobby, 3533 S. Alameda St.
Anyaegbu joins Driscoll as pediatric nephrologist
August 19, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Elizabeth Anyaegbu, MD, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as a pediatric nephrologist. Dr. Anyaegbu completed a nephrology fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, where she also received a master's degree in clinical investigation. She performed her residency at Driscoll from 2007 to 2010. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Society of Pediatric Nephrology, American Society of Nephrology and the National Kidney Foundation.
Driscoll cancer patients prove they have the 'right stuff'
August 14, 2013
Warrior-themed event planned Sept. 7 for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Rhianna Brizuela's "survivor" necklace is a source of pride for the 4-year-old.
CORPUS CHRISTI - Cancer patients at Driscoll Children's Hospital can easily be described as warriors. They've adapted to battling a life-threatening disease with resilience and bravery, all the while buoying their families' morale.
On Sept. 7, Driscoll will honor the fighting spirit of its cancer patients and commemorate Childhood Cancer Awareness Month with a warrior-themed celebration on the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay. About 150 patients throughout South Texas and their families have been invited. In keeping with the warrior theme, each patient will be given a souvenir dog tag. Corpus Christi City Councilwoman Lillian Riojas will read a proclamation declaring Sept. 7 Childhood Cancer Awareness Day, and the nearby Harbor Bridge will be illuminated in yellow specially for the occasion.
Here are profiles of three heroes who plan to attend the event:
4 years old
Behind Rhianna's pretty smile and shy, sweet demeanor is a tough little girl who battled cancer since she was just a baby. Her mother, Itzamara Pedraza, took her to a pediatrician when she was four months old because she had dime-size bumps on her stomach and under her armpits. It was discovered that Rhianna has neuroblastoma, and even more worrisome for her mother was that the disease was at stage four on a four-stage scale of severity.
"I was in shock," Pedraza said. "The first week I would just cry. Then I stopped because I had to be strong for my daughter."
Pedraza decided to take Rhianna to Driscoll Children's Hospital for the specialized treatment she needed. At Driscoll, she underwent numerous tests, scans and X-rays before regular chemotherapy treatments began. That's when Rhianna showed her true mettle.
"She was just a baby but she was never cranky or anything," Pedraza said. "I don't know where she got the strength from. She's a strong-headed little girl."
In June 2009, Rhianna's right adrenal gland was removed by a Driscoll surgeon to prevent her cancer from coming back, her mother said. She also had a mediport inserted in her chest - a reservoir through which physicians can administer chemotherapy medication into a blood vessel or draw a blood sample.
Pedraza said her daughter is on the "safer side" now, but that she has to come to Driscoll once a year for follow-up visits.
Spreading the message that cancer can affect anyone no matter their age is important to Pedraza.
"I'll do anything to help raise awareness that kids get cancer," she said.
7 years old
Chemotherapy didn't keep Sara Cavazos, 7, from smiling earlier this year.
It was "a life changing moment" when Sara was diagnosed last year with cancer in her kidney and abdominal lymph nodes, said her mother, Anna Cavazos. The good news was that, due to Sara's age and lack of a genetic predisposition, her kidney cancer was "very treatable," Cavazos said.
Physicians at Driscoll Children's Hospital quickly developed a treatment plan for Sara that first included the removal of a cancerous tumor from her kidney, which was performed just before Christmas. Radiation and chemotherapy treatments followed at Driscoll Children's Medical Plaza in McAllen.
As is common with patients undergoing cancer treatment, Sara lost her hair. And because of her lowered immunity, she had to be home-schooled. Nevertheless, she handled the challenges like a trooper, inspiring her own family.
"She's a fighter, a true hero," Cavazos said. "You would hardly ever see her down or depressed. Her famous quote was, 'I got this mom, I'll beat it.' I think it was harder on her parents than it was for her."
Cavazos said a high point in Sara's journey with cancer occurred last June when she attended Camp Star Trails, a summer camp in Burton designed for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities. One of Sara's older sisters was able to attend with her.
"They had a blast," Cavazos said. "They got to meet other kids with illnesses, relate to them and realize they aren't the only ones dealing with this."
Sara's perseverance hasn't been in vain. Her hair recently started growing back, and in July, Driscoll physicians confirmed that she's cancer free, Cavazos said.
"She got the 'all clear' one week after her birthday. Now she's excited to go back to school and be with her friends again."
6 years old
Matthew Garza, 6, wears his navy flight suit on the deck of the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay.
Every other Thursday, Matthew can be found playing his favorite video games in between lab tests and chemotherapy treatments at Driscoll's Cancer & Blood Disorders Center. He's now in the maintenance phase of treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a disease that took his parents by surprise when he was diagnosed by Driscoll physicians just over two years ago, at age 4.
"At first we were in total shock, almost denial," said Matthew's mother, Melinda Garza. "I think the denial ended when his sister asked me if her brother was going to die. That was like a wake-up call."
Although Matthew has about 15 more months of cancer treatments to go, he appears as healthy and playful as any 6-year-old boy. Last year, he participated in the Pilot for a Day program, in which Driscoll patients and their families are the guests of honor at local naval air stations. He treasures the custom-made flight suit given to him by pilots at Naval Air Station Kingsville, his mother said.
Matthew's fighting spirit has been a blessing to his family, especially during the challenging first two years of his treatment.
"He's been amazing," Garza said. "He's never complained at all. He's given us the strength to move forward."
Matthew's father, Gabriel Garza, recalled a recent trip he and his son took to the family's ranch outside Alice right after a chemotherapy session.
"He likes to ride our tractor and put out corn for the animals, so he went with me," he said. "He wasn't even fazed by the chemo. It was like nothing had happened."
What: Driscoll Children's Hospital's annual Childhood Cancer Awareness Month event
When: 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7
Where: USS Lexington Museum on the Bay, 2914 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Families with babies in intensive care at Driscoll find comfort from March of Dimes program
August 14, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - March of Dimes announced today that Driscoll Children's Hospital will launch a NICU Family Support Program®. The program, which provides information and comfort to families of premature babies and other critically ill newborns being cared for in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), is being funded by The Vishal Raju Bhagat Foundation.
"Preparing for a new baby is a time of great excitement," said Laurie Beck, RN, MSN, IBCLC, chair of the March of Dimes Program Services Committee in the Corpus Christi Division and director of Mom's Place, a breastfeeding resource center at Driscoll Children's Hospital. "Families don't expect anything to go wrong, but when something does go wrong, it can be very overwhelming. The Vishal Raju Bhagat Foundation's funding of the NICU Family Support Program will help make the journey through neonatal intensive care smoother and less traumatic for families."
The NICU Family Support Program is an important component of the March of Dimes' efforts to help all babies - those born healthy and those who need help to survive and thrive. As part of their commitment to help give every baby a healthy start, the March of Dimes has made medical and technological advances that have saved millions of babies' lives and health.
The NICU Family Support Program is now established in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. More than 86,000 families will have access to the information and support activities offered through the March of Dimes NICU Family Support annually.
"The March of Dimes is looking forward to partnering with Driscoll Children's Hospital through NICU Family Support because of its reputation for excellence and the quality care it provides to babies," Rosaura De Los Santos, Executive Director of the March of Dimes said. "Driscoll Children's Hospital does incredible work every day to care for sick babies and their families. We want to support their efforts."
Christopher Joyal, Driscoll's NICU director states "We are excited to be a March of Dimes NICU Family Support site and are looking forward to this collaborative effort to support parents throughout their stay with us. This is a wonderful opportunity to work with NICU parents and staff to develop programs specific to the needs of our families."
Incorporating NICU families into every level of the program, March of Dimes NICU Family Support addresses the needs of families throughout the hospitalization, during the transition home, and in the event of a newborn death. NICU Family Support also includes a professional development component to provide hospital NICU staff with support and educational opportunities. The program is led by hospital staff with professional NICU experience. Each NICU family receives a March of Dimes Parent Care Kit including informational books and materials to chart their baby's milestones.
What: Unveiling of NICU Family Support Unit
When: 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 15
Where: Driscoll Children's Hospital, third floor, 3533 S. Alameda St.
Páez brings pediatric endocrinology expertise to Driscoll
August 09, 2013
CORPUS CHRISTI - Ana María Páez, MD, has joined Driscoll Children's Hospital as a pediatric endocrinologist. Dr. Páez recently completed a pediatric endocrinology fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where she performed her pediatric residency from 2007 to 2010. She received her medical degree in 2007 at the Ponce School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Dr. Páez is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.
Driscoll Health Plan bringing obstacle course, photo booth to health fair
August 09, 2013
WHAT: At tomorrow's 48th annual Nueces County Medical Society Health Fair, Driscoll Health Plan (DHP) will offer an obstacle course and photo booth for children to enjoy in the children's area. DHP has been a friend of the family in Nueces County and surrounding counties since 1997.
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10
WHERE: American Bank Center Exhibit Hall, 1901 N. Shoreline Blvd.