Luncheon Celebrates Miracles at Golisano Children’s Hospital

Event to recognize supporters and five incredible kids

May 16, 2014

Few business lunches require tissues, but the Celebration of Miracles luncheon for UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital makes several necessary to catch the emotions that bubble up with the introduction of this year’s Miracle Makers and Miracle Kids.

The luncheon, presented by J.T. Mauro Co. Inc., begins at noon today at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, 123 E. Main St., Rochester. It’s the kick-off to a series of events, including the Stroll for Strong Kids Walk and 5K May 31 and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Telethon June 1 on News10NBC.

Miracle Makers

At the lunch, the hospital will recognize four Miracle Makers, people or groups who will be recognized for their support of Golisano Children’s Hospital:

Outstanding Commitment by a Grateful Parent

Tricia White’s daughter was born prematurely at 1 pound 7 ounces, on the edge of viability. With the help of her family and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Golisano Children’s Hospital, Jamie pulled through and is now a bright and vivacious 9-year-old who recently won Citizen of the Month at school. Tricia has given back to the hospital that saved her daughter’s life in so many amazing ways, including helping organize a parent-to-parent group, a NICU family night and a scrapbook and memory page group for families of NICU patients. Tricia and her family are a fixture at practically every hospital fundraiser, including volunteering at the NICU booth at the Stroll for Strong Kids.

Outstanding Commitment by a Community Group

Andy Nye, Penfield Sports and Fitness manager, was motivated by the care his sister and her family received at the hospital to create awareness and start fundraising. He joined forces with event co-founder Craig Hurlbut and came up with “Cycle for Hope,” in hope of making a difference. The six-hour spinning event raised $2,500 in its first year. Cycle for Hope’s dedicated committee and its chairs, including Sue Powers, have helped the event expand and become more of a success throughout its years, raising more than $23,000 on its tenth anniversary, and more than $200,000 over the decade.

Outstanding Commitment by a Community Partner

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester provides families with a stable, comfortable environment and with resources that truly make their stay feel more like a ‘home away from home.’ Between the House within the Hospital and House at Westmoreland, more than 1,200 families are cared for by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester every year, giving them a place to find respite during a very challenging time. In the new Golisano Children’s Hospital, the organization will expand its service with a new Ronald McDonald House Family Room. Open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., the spacious family environment will also include a kitchen, laundry, computers, full showers, and more.

Outstanding Commitment by a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Partner

For the past 15 years 100.5 The Drive and its parent company, Clear Channel Media & Entertainment, have been an essential partner of Golisano Children’s Hospital, providing us with invaluable support and the opportunity to tell the incredible stories of our patients and the work being done here through The Drive for Miracles Radiothon. 100.5 The Drive and WHAM 1180, along with Clear Channel’s entire team of amazing broadcasting professionals, have gladly donated countless hours of their time to make the Radiothon a success, raising more than $348,000 in 2014 alone.

Miracle Kids

The hospital will also introduce this year’s Miracle Kids, children who have beat the odds and represent the thousands of others who come to Golisano Children’s Hospital every year for care:

Andrew Lagares
Andrew “Drew” Lagares was born with gastrochisis, a birth defect in which the intestines stick out of the body through a hole in the abdominal wall. Not only were his intestines outside of his belly, they were also twisted, significantly diminishing his blood flow. Andrew would also be diagnosed with short bowel syndrome, a complex issue that, after a complicated series of procedures, was fixed by his pediatric surgery team. Other than the scars on his belly, there are no signs of Andrew’s rough beginning.

Brynn Taylor
Born at 29 weeks with a complex congenital heart defect, Brynn Taylor almost lost her life not once, but twice. After her first open-heart surgery, Brynn stopped breathing because of a severe case of pneumonia. An irregular heartbeat would cause her second cardiopulmonary arrest. After extensive surgeries and recovery, Brynn was released from the hospital at 4 months old, only to come back for open-chest surgery to remove a cyst in her esophagus that was cutting off her ability to swallow by 75 percent. A quiet and observant little fighter, Brooke now sees multiple therapists to help further her development.

Blake Gauss 
At 22-months-old Blake was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL. While undergoing chemotherapy treatments, it was discovered that Blake had aspergillus, in invasive fungal infection in his left lung that was about the size of a baseball. Anti-fungal medication and surgery would remove the mass, but Blake would face his, perhaps, most difficult diagnosis after a routine spinal tap – a plum-sized fungal mass in his brain. Multidisciplinary care from pediatricians across specialties helped in Blake’s recovery. Now in remission, Blake travels to the children’s hospital once a month for chemotherapy.

Chase Ayles
Chase was brought into the world at about 23 weeks with only a 25 percent chance of surviving. He weighed 615 grams, just reaching the weight limit needed to insert a ventilator tube. With a highly immature digestive system and dangerously low blood pressure, Chase would have a long run ahead. The preemie was also born with a heart defect causing the blood to mix and too much blood flow to the lungs, increasing his chance for congestive heart failure. At just 1 pound, 10 ounces, Chase underwent the delicate surgery to close the duct. Chase continues to grow and is a happy boy who loves anything that makes noise. 

Katie Foster
Less than 24-hours after Katie Foster, an avid dancer, learned her cousin was diagnosed with cancer, Katie and her family learned she, too, had cancer. A freshman at the School of the Arts, Katie was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer, on Nov. 11, 2012. She would undergo 13 rounds of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. Katie had to stop her chemo treatments early because they were causing her stomach to deteriorate. She underwent stomach surgery and had a nasogastric tube inserted to let her stomach heal. After being able to participate in a beautiful dance about overcoming obstacles this past March, Katie and her family learned that she had another obstacle ahead – her cancer had returned. Katie continues to be an inspiration to so many and we wish her the absolute best.

For Media Inquiries:
Heather Hare
(585) 273-2840
Email Heather Hare