Melissa was born in March of 1980 with CHARGE Syndrome. CHARGE is acronym for a specific combination of genetic birth defects. In 1981 the name “CHARGE” was newly recognized as a cluster of birth defects seen in a number of newborn children. CHARGE – (Coloboma of the eye, Heart defects, Atresia of the choanae, Retardation of Growth and development, and Ear abnormalities and deafness). Though the mortality rate for diagnosed CHARGE syndrome was low, we believe Melissa is one of the oldest survivors living with CHARGE today.
Over the years, Melissa’s determination and spirit have helped her overcome multiple surgeries and the many challenges in her life. Melissa has been able to graduate from high school, she lives on her own in an independent living development, and takes the bus to her part time job. She’s won equestrian ribbons, swam with dolphins and has a yellow belt in karate.
Even though much older today, Melissa is still under the care and support of the great medical professionals of Children’s Hospital. In here spare time Melissa gives back, knitting blankets for other children being treated at Children’s Hospital and supporting other fund raising efforts, like this.
Help Melissa as a Children’s Hospital Patient Partner with her Champion, Paula Verderber in her 2020 Boston Marathon run for Children’s Hospital. Paula is an amazing person dedicated to helping others and in supporting Melissa throughout.
We've joined the Miles for Miracles team because I believe so strongly in all the amazing things Boston Children's Hospital does for kids:
- The hospital's patient care programs are unusually sensitive to what sick and injured children and their families really need.
- Researchers regularly make amazing discoveries that change children's lives.
- Boston Children's welcomes kids whose families can't afford health care--more than any other hospital in Massachusetts.
- Community programs makes a point of reaching out to help low-income and at-risk kids.
Please help Melissa in her effort to support Children's Hospital...