We first met Caley when she was 1 year old, just as she was beginning to take her first steps. She struggled to survive after being born three months early, weighing only 1 pound, 6 ounces, and spent months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
After a lot of hard work and determination, Caley started walking at 18 months old, skipped ahead to running, and hasn't stopped since.
Today, 4-year-old Caley is in good health, despite minor hearing loss in her left ear and her Chronic Lung Disease diagnosis. Receiving surfactant replacement therapy immediately after birth positively impacted her long-term health, allowing her to run and play without consequence.
Caley is an inquisitive preschooler who loves all animals, especially lions, and can’t wait for her first week-long day camp at the Denver Zoo this summer. Her fine motor skills and sensory processing issues are challenges that she continues to work on with occupational therapists, but Caley is already beginning to read and will start kindergarten in the fall. According to her mom, the most exciting part of this milestone for Caley is “getting to eat lunch at school.”
Her family maintains their strong connection to Children’s Colorado. Caley’s dad, Kirk, rides in the Courage Classic every summer, and her mom, Marie, contributes her legal expertise to patients at the hospital. Caley's primary nurse during her NICU stay, who the family calls "Aunt Kodi," has become a close friend.
“We can't help but be zealous advocates for the hospital after what we've been through,” said Marie.
*Photo courtesy of Sweet & Savory Studio