Nominated by their community and caregivers, our Patient Ambassadors have displayed extraordinary strength and courage in the face of tremendous medical challenges. Their stories of resilience remind us why it’s so important to support Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Our Ambassadors have endured more surgeries, setbacks, struggles and hospitalizations than most people experience in a lifetime. And yet, despite everything they have been through, they want to give back to help other patients. Each Ambassador has created a personal fundraising page to support an area of the hospital that is meaningful to him or her.
Read more about our Ambassadors’ stories below, and please consider donating to their fundraising efforts.
Allie has struggled with mental health challenges for most of her life. When things reached a breaking point in high school, she came to Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Pediatric Mental Health Institute, where she was admitted for inpatient therapy. Allie was diagnosed with multiple mental health conditions that dramatically impact her ability to function. After getting on medication and attending therapy, Allie’s ability to cope improved significantly. Today, she serves as a mental health advocate for her school and community. Donate to Allie’s fundraising page.
Shortly after Alonzo was born, he was diagnosed with Cornelia de Lange syndrome, a condition characterized by growth deficiency, feeding difficulties and other physical and cognitive delays. Alonzo started coming to Children’s Hospital Colorado’s KidStreet program at just 3 months old, where he began a wide range of therapies. He soon started making rapid progress. Before turning 3, Alonzo started walking independently – and then running! Alonzo has come so far that he will graduate from KidStreet this spring. Donate to Alonzo’s fundraising page.
Armando has Treacher Collins syndrome, a genetic disorder that alters the development of facial bones and tissues. Armando has endured many surgeries throughout his life, including a reconstructive jaw surgery and plastic surgery. He was also born deaf and received cochlear implants and bone-anchored hearing aids. Armando wants other kids to know that it’s OK to be different, and he credits Children’s Colorado with providing him with the care he needs to succeed in life. Donate to Armando’s fundraising page.
Asher has Joubert Syndrome, a rare disease affecting brain development. This condition can cause cognitive delays, eye abnormalities, respiratory issues and low muscle tone, but the prognosis varies considerably for each patient. Fortunately, Asher’s case has been a hopeful one. Through multiple therapies at Children’s Colorado, Asher works hard every day to reach new milestones. With a lot of dedication and support, Asher recently went from using a wheelchair to a walker to now using crutches to walk. Donate to Asher’s fundraising page.
Austin was just 5 years old when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The cancer had already spread to his central nervous system, including his spine. After three and a half years of radiation, chemotherapy and steroids, spending numerous birthdays and holidays in the hospital and missing most of his kindergarten year, Austin finished his treatments in July 2019. Today, he is cancer free and loves to play baseball and basketball. Donate to Austin’s fundraising page.
Belle was almost 2 years old when she was diagnosed with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), a serious autoimmune disorder that causes blood clots to form in the kidneys. During flare-ups, the clots can restrict blood flow, even causing seizures and kidney failure. Belle was treated with a new aHUS drug and spent 30 days in the hospital recovering. Today, she comes to Children’s Colorado every three weeks for infusion treatments, and she hasn’t had a major flare-up in 2+ years. Donate to Belle’s fundraising page.
At 3 months old, Bryce was diagnosed with Alagille syndrome, a genetic disorder that can affect the liver and heart. By the time he was 10 months old, Bryce’s liver was failing so badly that he needed an organ transplant to survive. Fortunately, his father, Andrew, was the perfect match. In August 2018, Bryce and his dad both underwent surgery to transplant a piece of Andrew’s liver into his infant son. The transplant was a success, and today Bryce is a happy, thriving toddler. Donate to Bryce’s fundraising page.
Before she was born, Calista was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart defect: hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Calista’s heart would need to be almost entirely reconstructed, and she would need at least three major open-heart surgeries to survive. Calista underwent her first open heart surgery at just 2 days old, followed by a second surgery at 5 months old. The surgeries were successful, and today Calista is a sassy, sociable 1 year old who loves blowing kisses to everyone she meets. Donate to Calista’s fundraising page.
Dalilah was born missing part of her right arm. Her family describes her condition as “limb different,” but Dalilah has never let those differences hold her back from doing the same things as any other kid. Since she was a baby, Dalilah has worked with therapists at Children’s Colorado to learn how touse her self-described “little hand” during everyday tasks. Dalilah approaches every new challenge with determination and confidence – even learning how to climb the monkey bars on the playground! Donate to Dalilah’s fundraising page.
In 2018, doctors discovered and removed an aggressive tumor from Daniel’s brain that was half the size of an adult fist. A subsequent MRI at Children’s Colorado showed that Daniel had already developed three new brain tumors in under a month. Daniel immediately had a second brain surgery at Children’s Colorado, followed by a month of radiation and two additional brain surgeries. He is now cancer free and back to his passion of unicycling. Donate to Daniel’s fundraising page.
Delaney was in kindergarten when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Her family was devastated to learn that she would need to undergo 2+ years of chemotherapy treatment. In the months that followed, Delaney was perpetually exhausted. She lost all her hair, and her body became uncomfortably swollen from the steroids she had to take. But nearly five years later, Delaney is not only cancer free, she’s back to her active, happy self and now plays lacrosse for a championship team. Donate to Delaney’s fundraising page.
Last summer, Elizabeth was vacationing in Florida when a grease fire started in the kitchen. Elizabeth suffered severe burns on her arms and legs. Elizabeth’s family brought her home and went straight to Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Burn Clinic, where an expert team provided exceptional care that helped Elizabeth to heal both inside and out. Elizabeth credits her caregivers with helping her to live as normal a life as possible following her accident. Donate to Elizabeth’s fundraising page.
Ellena has CLOVES syndrome, a rare overgrowth condition that causes blood vessel malformations, soft-tissue tumors and skeletal abnormalities. Because of this, Ellena was born with cysts in her abdomen and a brain malformation. After suffering severe seizures as a newborn. Ellena underwent a hemispherectomy surgery, and she hasn’t had a seizure since. Years later, Ellena’s right foot had to be amputated, but her new prosthetic “super foot” helps her to get around faster than ever before. Donate to Ellena’s fundraising page.
Grace was on vacation in the mountains, when she was involved in a four-wheeler accident. The vehicle flipped and landed on Grace, dragging her across the dirt road. Grace’s left leg was broken, and she suffered 3rd degree burns in the accident. She spent a month at Children’s Colorado, undergoing multiple surgeries to help heal her wounds. After her cast was removed, Grace had several skin graft surgeries. She is now back to skiing and dancing. Donate to Grace’s fundraising page.
For weeks, Hannia felt sick and lethargic. By the time she came to Children’s Colorado, she could barely walk from the pain and exhaustion. Hannia was diagnosed with Lupus, a chronic, incurable autoimmune disease. Hannia was immediately put on steroids, and she began doing regular infusions at Children’s Colorado to help calm her immune system. Three years later, she still has flare-ups that cause her severe pain, but she manages her condition with strength and a positive attitude. Donate to Hannia’s fundraising page.
Kate is treated at Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Pediatric Mental Health Institute for anxiety, sensory integration disorder and ADHD. In third grade, Kate was repeatedly bullied by classmates. When she revealed that she didn’t want to live anymore, her family rushed her to Children’s Colorado for an emergency psychiatric evaluation. With a lot of hard work and support, Kate was able find the strength to move forward. Today she’s determined to help end the stigma associated with mental health conditions. Donate to Kate’s fundraising page.
At 2 months old, Keira was diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic condition that affects her brain, lungs, thyroid and muscles. With a lot of hard work, Keira has made dramatic progress as she has grown. She took her first assisted steps just before her 4th birthday, and by age 6 she was walking without a walker. Children’s Hospital Colorado’s multi-disciplinary care team helps Keira to manage all aspects of her disease, so that every part of her body can continue to get stronger. Donate to Keira’s fundraising page.
LaShawn was born with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease. When his liver and kidneys started rapidly failing at age 15, doctors were in a race against time to save his life. He needed a liver and kidney transplant from the same donor and had about a one in a million chance of finding a successful match. But in 2019, a possible match was found, and LaShawn received a kidney and liver transplant from the same donor. The transplant was a success, and LaShawn is now thriving. Donate to LaShawn’s fundraising page.
In 2017, Leo was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare and serious condition that occurs when the bone marrow is damaged and stops producing enough new blood cells. Leo would need a bone marrow transplant to survive. His body rejected his first transplant using his sister’s cells, but doctors tried again using stem cells from his mother. Thankfully, the second transplant was successful, and Leo’s ability to make new blood cells was slowly restored. More than two years later, Leo is now a happy and healthy 3rd grader. Donate to Leo’s fundraising page.
In 2016, Marissa was headed to Back-to-School night when another car collided with her family’s vehicle. Marissa was airlifted to Children’s Hospital Colorado, where she was placed in a medically induced coma. Marissa suffered a traumatic brain injury and a stroke in the accident, which caused partial paralysis. She spent three months in the hospital recovering, but she never stopped fighting – even when she had to relearn how to walk, how to eat and how to talk again. Today, Marissa continues to heal with perseverance and positivity. Donate to Marissa’s fundraising page.
Noah was born at Children’s Colorado with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. This rare birth defect affects the diaphragm, limiting lung growth and causing other life-threatening medical issues. For the first few months, Noah’s lungs were so fragile that he required heavy sedation and medically induced paralysis to recover. There were times when Noah’s parents feared their son would not survive. But thanks to the heroic interventions of his care team – and Noah’s fighting spirit – he defied the odds. At 10 months old, Noah was able to return home to Illinois, and today he’s thriving. Donate to Noah’s fundraising page.
During his senior year of high school, Noah went to the doctor for a persistent cough. He was stunned to discover that he wasn’t fighting a virus, but stage 4 Ewing’s Sarcoma. Noah’s cancer had started in his chest cavity and rapidly spread throughout his body. To battle the aggressive cancer, Noah underwent 14 rounds of chemotherapy and more than 40 rounds of radiation in less than a year at Children’s Colorado. Now that his cancer is in remission, Noah is studying to become a pediatric oncology nurse. Donate to Noah’s fundraising page.
Nyssa-Sky has Turner Syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality that can cause a wide range of life-threatening medical issues. She was originally given a less than 2% chance of surviving to full-term, but Nyssa-Sky defied the odds and is now a spunky 5-year old, who loves singing, dancing and making people smile. Nyssa-Sky’s mom is grateful to have the Turner Syndrome Clinic at Children’s Hospital Colorado, where she can access pediatric specialists who are true experts in her daughter’s condition. Donate to Nyssa-Sky’s fundraising page.
When a Strep A infection invaded Paige’s brain, she required emergency brain surgery. Surgeons at Children’s Colorado removed a softball-sized infected mass from her brain, along with a large portion of her skull. Because her skull was so fragile, Paige had to wear a helmet for months to protect her head. During her recovery she experienced many setbacks, including more infections, brain surgeries and seizures. But Paige has never lost her vivacious spirit or her determination to keep fighting. Donate to Paige’s fundraising page.
After being violently ill for weeks, Pauline was referred to the Digestive Health Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado. An endoscopy test revealed that Pauline has Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation of the digestive tract. She started doing infusions every 6 weeks to help “seal off” her digestive track. Within a few months, her Crohn’s was in full remission. Pauline still gets regular infusions, and she’s also treated at Children’s Colorado for severe psoriasis. Donate to Pauline’s fundraising page.
In the span of a few days, Trey went from discovering a small lump on his neck to learning he had a rare and aggressive blood cancer, Burkitt’s Lymphoma. The aggressive tumor had grown rapidly inside his nasal cavity, almost completely blocking his airway. Trey faced the fight of his life with courage and determination. Over three months, he underwent 12 surgeries and multiple rounds of high-dose chemotherapy at Children’s Colorado. His cancer is now gone, and Trey is back to playing competitive baseball. Donate to Trey’s fundraising page.