heartYour big heart made a big difference

You made a big difference to kids and families at Children’s in 2012! Last year, your help, in amounts both big and small, continued to provide Minnesota kids with some of the best medical care in the world.

Cancer and blood disorders

Thanks to generous supporters like you, over 1,120 kids needing care for cancer and blood disorders benefitted from the big things, little things and surprising things that make Children’s, Children’s. To learn more about the important ways your gift to our cancer and blood disorders program made a difference, take a look inside. We think you’ll be amazed at the ways you helped kids in our community!


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When Zachary Burma came down with a high fever just prior to his first birthday, his parents Aric and Kristen assumed he was teething. But when his fever didn’t go away, Zac’s pediatrician recommended a trip to Children’s, thinking he might be suffering from pneumonia after an x-ray showed a spot on his lung.

After a round of antibiotics, Zac began to feel better. However, the spot on his lung remained, necessitating a CT scan. As the Burmas drove out of Children’s parking ramp following Zac’s scan, his pediatrician called to tell them they needed to head back inside to speak with an oncologist.

During that unexpected appointment, Aric and Kristen learned that their perfectly healthy young son needed surgery to remove a tumor, later diagnosed as Stage I Neuroblastoma. “Prior to Zac’s scan, we were very scared, but never for a moment would have thought about the spot on his lung being cancer,” recalls Kristen.

zacharySix days later Zac underwent surgery during which his care team successfully removed his tumor in its entirety without impacting any of his other organs. The week that followed was filled with anxiety as Zac underwent multiple tests to determine the next steps in his journey. Fortunately, due to Zac’s early diagnosis and treatment, no other cancerous cells were found, eliminating the need for any further treatments.

Today, Zac is a healthy 3 year old who loves playing outside, riding his bike and selecting toys to donate to Children’s patients through his family’s Bags of Smiles initiative. “We are so lucky to have Children’s,” notes Kristen. “They got us to where we are today and we are truly thankful.”


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Cardiology

Thanks to generous supporters like you, 386 cardiovascular patients benefitted from the big things, little things and surprising things that make Children’s, Children’s. To learn more about the important ways your gift to our cardiovascular program made a difference, take a look inside. We think you’ll be amazed at the ways you helped kids in our community!


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For Matt and Maria Trueblood, their family’s journey at Children’s began before their little boy, Emerson, was even born. Following a series of prenatal ultrasound appointments, Matt and Maria Trueblood learned that Emerson had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, also known as “half a heart,” a rare condition affecting just 1 in 10,000 babies.

Although they were shocked to learn of Emerson’s diagnosis, they were comforted by the support they received from Children’s team which included a cardiologist, heart surgeon, neonatologist, and neurosurgeon. “We never felt alone,” recalls Maria, “and when Emerson came by emergency cesarean, we were ready.”

truebloodEmerson arrived on November 11, 2011 and was immediately transported from Abbott Northwestern Hospital to Children’s. Just five days old, Emerson underwent open-heart surgery, the first of three that would be needed to correct his heart defect. Over the next two weeks, Emerson’s condition remained critical. On November 30, his long recovery seemed to take a turn for the better, and at six weeks old, his mom and dad held him for the first time since his birth.

After 95 days in the hospital, Emerson went home for the first time. Due to his fragile condition, Emerson made multiple return trips to Children’s throughout 2012 to see his comprehensive care team. Although each hospitalization brought challenges, including a long recovery from Emerson’s second heart surgery, the Truebloods were grateful to have access to Children’s world-class cardiac care.

Today, Emerson is doing amazingly well as an 18 month old. “With each new milestone Emerson achieves, we are reminded that he is succeeding just by living,” shares Maria. “His journey doesn’t have a happy ending, because it doesn’t have an ending, and that is thrilling.”


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Child and family services

Thanks to generous supporters like you, 128,047 kids in need of medical care benefitted from the big things, little things and surprising things that make Children’s, Children’s. To learn more about the important ways your gift in support of Children’s child and family services made a difference, take a look inside. We think you’ll be amazed at the ways you helped kids in our community!


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Maisy’s journey at Children’s began when she was born at just 32 weeks gestation. In addition to her premature arrival, Maisy faced a myriad of complex medical needs that forced her to spend the first eight months of her life at Children’s. During that time, she had multiple surgeries—including the placement of a pacemaker—and required a ventilator and tube feedings to keep her alive.

When she was 15 months old, two important members joined Maisy’s care team: her adoptive parents, Mark and Julie Martindale. Thanks to their partnership with Maisy’s medical team, Maisy was able to successfully transition home, but her wide range of medical issues required frequent return trips to Children’s for follow-up care. “Maisy has had 28 surgeries that have brought her to the hospital. We have spent countless hours in the hospital, clinics and therapy rooms with our little girl,” notes Julie.

maisyAlthough she is a thriving 5 year-old, Maisy and her family continue to rely on Children’s support services, like the Sibling Play Area and the Geek Squad, during her follow-up visits to the hospital. The Martindales note that they are able to be more fully engaged during appointments when Maisy’s siblings are enjoying the Sibling Play Area. Additionally, the Geek Squad services provide extra peace of mind during Maisy’s unexpected visits by helping Mark and Julie stay connected to family and friends. Seemingly simple things, like having computers, iPads and phone chargers available lessen the stress that accompanies an unanticipated trip to Children’s. “It really is the little things that make such an enormous difference for families and their child,” shares Julie.


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Neonatology

Thanks to generous supporters like you, 1,825 babies cared for in our neonatal units benefitted from the big things, little things and surprising things that make Children’s, Children’s. To learn more about the important ways your gift to our neonatal program made a difference, take a look inside. We think you’ll be amazed at the ways you helped kids in our community!


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Dani and Greg Tanner were thrilled when their healthy baby girl, Vivian, was born weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces. Not long after her arrival, however, Vivian’s oxygen levels mysteriously dropped to dangerously low levels, requiring her to be transferred via helicopter from Brookings, South Dakota to Sioux Falls when she was just 12 hours old. In Sioux Falls, Vivian’s condition continued to worsen, necessitating a transfer via ambulance plane to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis for specialized care.

Upon arriving in Children’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) Vivian’s doctors immediately placed her on ECMO, a heart/lung bypass machine. With no explanation for why Vivian’s lungs were not working like they should, Vivian’s care team felt ECMO would provide her with the best opportunity for her lungs to heal.

vivianAfter an intense seven days that included a procedure to drain excess fluid around her heart, Vivian’s doctors began to slowly wean her off of ECMO. Two days later, Vivian was not only off of ECMO, but also was taken off her ventilator. “Each day meant one fewer tube in her little body,” notes Dani. By the end of two weeks at Children’s, Vivian only required a nasal feeding tube.

Throughout Vivian’s ECMO experience Dani and Greg appreciated the wonderful support provided by Vivian’s nurses and other members of her care team. As new parents, Dani and Greg found it comforting to have the chance to assist with Vivian’s daily care when possible and valued the time the doctors and nurses took to explain the complexities of her medical care.

Despite her unexpected struggles early on, today Vivian is a happy, healthy little girl who just celebrated her first birthday. “She continues to learn new things and bring joy to everyone around her,” shares Dani.

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Pain medicine, palliative care and integrative medicine

Thanks to generous supporters like you, Children’s pain medicine, palliative care and integrative medicine team made over 5,000 patient visits during which they provided the big things, little things and surprising things that make Children’s, Children’s. To learn more about the important ways your gift to our pain medicine, palliative care and integrative medicine programs made a difference, take a look inside. We think you’ll be amazed at the ways you helped kids in our community!


precious star

For Matt and Maria Trueblood, their family’s journey at Children’s began before their little boy, Emerson, was even born. Following a series of prenatal ultrasound appointments, Matt and Maria Trueblood learned that Emerson had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, also known as “half a heart,” a rare condition affecting just 1 in 10,000 babies.

Although they were shocked to learn of Emerson’s diagnosis, they were comforted by the support they received from Children’s team which included a cardiologist, heart surgeon, neonatologist, and neurosurgeon. “We never felt alone,” recalls Maria, “and when Emerson came by emergency cesarean, we were ready.”

Emerson arrived on November 11, 2011 and was immediately transported from Abbott Northwestern Hospital to Children’s. Just five days old, Emerson underwent open-heart surgery, the first of three that would be needed to correct his heart defect. Over the next two weeks, Emerson’s condition remained critical. On November 30, his long recovery seemed to take a turn for the better, and at six weeks old, his mom and dad held him for the first time since his birth.

truebloodAfter 95 days in the hospital, Emerson went home for the first time. Due to his fragile condition, Emerson made multiple return trips to Children’s throughout 2012 to see his comprehensive care team. Although each hospitalization brought challenges, including a long recovery from Emerson’s second heart surgery, the Truebloods were grateful to have access to Children’s world-class cardiac care.

Today, Emerson is doing amazingly well as an 18 month old. “With each new milestone Emerson achieves, we are reminded that he is succeeding just by living,” shares Maria. “His journey doesn’t have a happy ending, because it doesn’t have an ending, and that is thrilling.”


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Urgent Needs

Thanks to generous supporters like you, 128,047 kids in need of medical care benefitted from the big things, little things and surprising things that make Children’s, Children’s. To learn more about the important ways your gift to Children’s made a difference, take a look inside. We think you’ll be amazed at the ways you helped kids in our community!


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Maisy’s journey at Children’s began when she was born at just 32 weeks gestation. In addition to her premature arrival, Maisy faced a myriad of complex medical needs that forced her to spend the first eight months of her life at Children’s. During that time, she had multiple surgeries—including the placement of a pacemaker—and required a ventilator and tube feedings to keep her alive.

When she was 15 months old, two important members joined Maisy’s care team: her adoptive parents, Mark and Julie Martindale. Thanks to their partnership with Maisy’s medical team, Maisy was able to successfully transition home, but her wide range of medical issues required frequent return trips to Children’s for follow-up care. “Maisy has had 28 surgeries that have brought her to the hospital. We have spent countless hours in the hospital, clinics and therapy rooms with our little girl,” notes Julie.

maisyAlthough she is a thriving 5 year-old, Maisy and her family continue to rely on Children’s support services, like the Sibling Play Area and the Geek Squad, during her follow-up visits to the hospital. The Martindales note that they are able to be more fully engaged during appointments when Maisy’s siblings are enjoying the Sibling Play Area. Additionally, the Geek Squad services provide extra peace of mind during Maisy’s unexpected visits by helping Mark and Julie stay connected to family and friends. Seemingly simple things, like having computers, iPads and phone chargers available lessen the stress that accompanies an unanticipated trip to Children’s. “It really is the little things that make such an enormous difference for families and their child,” shares Julie.


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