This year, 17 patients were nominated by doctors and community members to serve as Children’s Hospital Colorado ambassadors. These patients represent care programs across the hospital and encompass a diverse cross section of ages, backgrounds and hometowns.
This group of brave patients and their families will share their medical journeys through interviews, presentations and events to spread awareness for Children’s Colorado. This year they will also be fundraising! Scroll down to learn more about this year’s ambassadors and check out their fundraising pages.
(First row) Tyler, Aloukika, Joseph, Kaley, Caleb, Pamela (Second row) Danielle, Lauren, Samara, Michael, Logan, Kailee (Third row) Jonathan, Melinda, Carter
Aloukika, age 11
Aloukika was diagnosed with caudal regression syndrome, a serious congenital birth defect that left her without part of her spinal cord and pelvis, limiting her mobility and affecting her kidneys and urinary tract. Today, after a major reconstructive surgery at Children’s Colorado, Aloukika doesn’t let her diagnosis stop her from pursuing her passions. She loves to write fantasy stories, perform in school plays, cook Indian food and dance in her wheelchair to Bollywood hits. Check out Aloukika's fundraising page.
Anna, age 14
Anna’s medical journey began in 2015 when a coughing attack sent her to the emergency room. Doctors suspected she was going into septic shock, and Anna was airlifted to Children’s Colorado for treatment. Two months later, after experiencing severe chest pain, Anna was found to have a tumor in her lungs and was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. Her tumor is so rare, it’s only the 17th case ever known. Anna underwent a complex surgery to remove half her lung, and she completed her chemotherapy treatment in 2016. She is now cancer-free. Check out Anna's fundraising page.
Caleb, age 5
Caleb was diagnosed in-utero with a diaphragmatic hernia, a defect of the diaphragm that severely impacts lung development and impairs breathing. Caleb was given a 4 percent chance of survival, but doctors performed surgery three days after he was born to repair the hernia. Caleb then spent more than a year in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Colorado and went home with a tracheotomy and ventilator. Today, Caleb can breathe on his own and is an outgoing, energetic little boy who loves to sing and read. Check out Caleb's fundraising page.
Carter, age 11
After being diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of leukemia in second grade, Carter underwent radiation and more than three years of chemotherapy at Children’s Colorado. Today, he’s cancer-free and raises money for the hospital through his “Crafts for Cancer” project. He’s also a big fan of the Denver Broncos and is a wizard at building elaborate Lego® creations. When he grows up, Carter wants to help other young cancer patients by becoming an oncology nurse. Check out Carter's fundraising page.
Danielle, age 10
Danielle has been a patient at the Children’s Colorado Heart Institute since she was born. After being diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, she has undergone multiple surgeries. Today, Danielle is a compassionate and caring young girl who plays the piano, violin and drums. She loves dancing and playing flag football, as well as public speaking to educate others about her condition. When she grows up, she hopes to become a cardiologist. Check out Danielle's fundraising page.
Jonathan, age 14
Shortly after Jonathan was born, Children’s Colorado doctors detected a heart murmur, which led to the discovery of a life threatening heart defect. He was immediately transferred to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Colorado, where he underwent a 10-hour surgery to reconstruct his heart. Jonathan has since made a full recovery and is now an honor roll student and avid athlete. He continues his routine follow-up care at Children’s Colorado. Check out Jonathan's fundraising page.
Joseph, age 11
Joseph has been treated at Children’s Colorado since he was a baby. An ultrasound revealed fluid in his bladder in-utero, a condition that doctors later determined was caused by Eagle-Barrett syndrome. Joseph was placed on kidney dialysis when he was 1 month old, and at age 3 he received a kidney transplant. Although he’s had a few rejection scares, today Joseph is a happy 11-year-old who loves acting, country music and football. Check out Joseph's fundraising page.
Kaley, age 8
After being diagnosed with skeletal dysplasia, a condition that affects bone and cartilage growth, Kaley has undergone multiple spinal and foot surgeries at Children’s Colorado. Kaley also suffers from severe sleep apnea, but she maintains a positive attitude throughout her numerous medical challenges. After joining a new school last fall and realizing that kids saw her as “different,” she hosted a school assembly to educate the student body on her condition. Following her speech, she was given an award by her classmates. She is also a member of Little People of America and fosters kittens in her spare time. Check out Kaley's fundraising page.
Kailee, age 12
When Kailee was 11, she began experiencing flu-like symptoms. Within a few days, her condition had worsened. She began having seizures and was placed in a medically induced coma for three weeks. Kailee was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy and continues to undergo treatment at Children’s Colorado. She participates in music therapy, enjoys singing and dreams of becoming the first female U.S. president. Check out Kailee's fundraising page.
Lauren, age 11
Born with a serious heart defect, Lauren has been treated at hospitals across the country. At age 3, Lauren received a heart transplant, but she’s since had two frightening rejection scares. Adding to her medical challenges, at age 5 Lauren was diagnosed with a chronic condition that causes severe swelling of the esophagus, making it very difficult to swallow. But thanks to her resilient spirit – and the thoughtful care she receives at Children’s Hospital Colorado – Lauren is now a happy 11-year-old who lives in Colorado Springs and enjoys singing with the local children’s chorale. Check out Lauren's fundraising page.
Logan, age 10
When Logan was 3, he developed a mysterious stomachache. After undergoing various medical tests, an X-ray of his lung revealed a rare cancerous tumor with a 30 percent survival rate. Logan underwent more than six hours of surgery at Children’s Colorado to remove the mass. He required four blood transfusions and doctors had to remove two of his ribs, but Logan survived. After months of chemotherapy and radiation, Logan has now been cancer-free for six years. Check out Logan's fundraising page.
Melinda, age 15
After falling on a treadmill three years ago, Melinda suffered severe burns to her thigh, arm and stomach. She was sent to Children’s Colorado where she received skin grafts. For months after her accident, she had to wear a cast and compression pants. Since her wounds healed, Melinda has participated in the Children’s Colorado Burn Camp. Today, she hopes to empower other burn patients with her story. Check out Melinda's fundraising page.
Michael, age 11
Immediately after he and his twin sister were born, doctors noticed something was wrong with Michael’s heart. Michael was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Colorado, where he underwent heart valve replacement surgery. At age 2, he had a more complicated heart operation called a Ross procedure. Today, Michael is an active 10-year-old who loves to ski and scuba dive. He continues to receive most of his follow-up care at Children’s Colorado in Colorado Springs. Check out Michael's fundraising page.
Pamela, age 13
Pamela has muscular dystrophy. When she was 7, her parents were told she had six months to live because her organs were being crushed by an 80-degree curve in her spine. She also faced a double heart murmur. But Children’s Colorado doctors refused to give up on Pamela, and after a complex a partial spinal fusion surgery, Pamela has made tremendous progress. Today, she enjoys painting and playing the ukulele. Check out Pamela's fundraising page.
Samara, age 11
When Samara was 5, doctors became concerned because she wasn’t growing. She was soon diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine. Today, Samara maintains a gluten-free diet. She enjoys figure skating and playing the violin and hopes to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Check out Samara's fundraising page.
Savannah, age 11
In 2015, Savannah was in a car accident and suffered a severe injury to her spinal cord. She was rushed to Children’s Colorado where pediatric surgeons fused her spine. Savannah spent three months at Children’s Colorado recovering and is now a quadriplegic. But Savannah doesn’t let that stop her from doing what she loves, including dancing and designing stylish hospital gowns. Check out Savannah's fundraising page.
Tyler, age 11
Tyler was born with spina bifida and has undergone multiple surgeries and treatments at Children’s Colorado. Today, he is an active sixth grader who loves swimming, playing basketball, and making others laugh. Check out Tyler's fundraising page.