Charity Care Program
The money we raise at Dance On goes to the Charity Care Program. The Charity Care Program at Texas Children's Hospital ensures that every child gets the care they need regardless of expense. If health care will not cover the costs, CHIP is unavailable, the parents do not have a penny left in their pockets, IT DOES NOT MATTER. Every child will be cared for.
To find out more about the Charity Care Program,
Nicholaus (Nicky) Sauter
With a thatch of thick brown hair and large hazel eyes, Nick Sauter is a healthy, lively 9-year-old who loves playing football. Five years ago the story was much different, when Nick was diagnosed with leukemia at the tender age of 4.
"We visited the clinic on November 27, 2004, and I had mother's intuition that something wasn't right," Missy Sauter said. "He had a cough and his legs hurt. Plus, I lifted up his shirt and there was a big, raised bruise. Twenty minutes later the nurse came in and closed the door, and we were told it looked like Nick had leukemia. At that moment, our world turned upside down."
Nick underwent two-and-a-half-years of treatment with chemotherapy. When he began losing his hair, his father, Greg, an airline pilot, shaved off his hair in a show of support. When Nick's grandfather was diagnosed with lymphoma, Nick repaid the favor by shaving off his own, newly regrown hair.
"When Nick found out about his grandfather's cancer, the first thing he said was, 'Woo-hoo, we're twins!'" Missy said. "The second thing he said was that he wanted to shave off his hair so his grandpa didn't have to feel like he was all alone."
For the Sauters, the joy of having Nick cancer-free is compounded with the enjoyment they get from helping others. Through a nonprofit organization they founded—called Nicky's Journey—they assemble gift packs for newly diagnosed patients that include a portable DVD and a gift-card to Walmart so patients can purchase DVDs.
"We've given away 200 so far," Missy said. "When kids are in the clinic, there are TVs, but sometimes kids just want to curl up in a corner and have their own DVD so they can watch what they want to watch and play the games they want to play. It's our way of paying it forward."
Today, Nick gets his blood drawn every three months to ensure none of the leukemia has returned. He just had his first visit to the long-term survivor program at Texas Children's Hospital and plans to be either a paleontologist or a garbage man when he grows up.
"Don't forget F-16 pilot," Nick said. "I think that would be really cool."
Keri Len Spivey
At 10 months old, Keri Len was a foster child suffering with cardiomyopathy, a type of heart disease in which the heart muscle is abnormally enlargened or thickened. She needed a home and foster parents willing to love and take care of her and her vast medical needs.
Mary Alice and Lester, retired grandparents, provided her with just that and adopted Keri Len. Keri Len was taken to Houston's Children's Miracle Network hospital's Heart Center where doctors confirmed that she needed a heart transplant. Two months after arrival, a match was found and Keri Len underwent a successful heart transplant at Texas Children's Hospital. Keri Len is now a vibrant and energetic ten year old who enjoys dancing and singing and is enthusiastic about what life has ahead.
When you meet 10-year-old Garrett Clark, it's a special treat. Not only do you get meet a brave boy who has fought a brain tumor, but you also might have the opportunity to see his Elvis impersonation. Garret's mom, Tracye, describes her son as a "live wire"- full of energy, spunk and not the least bit shy. She describes her son as the typical boy, full of curiousity and a bit mischievous. But Garrett's life has been anything but typical. When he was 2-years-old, he developed a "wiggle" in his right eye that was of concern to his mom. Just to be safe, Tracye took Garrett to an ophthamologist, who referred him to Texas Children's Hospital. After a series of tests and the fear of the unknown, Garrett was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Two days later, while the Clarks were still trying to comprehend the news, Garrett had surgery to remove the tumor and immediately began treatment at Texas Children's Hospital Cancer Center. Now a happy and healty 8-year-old, Garrett barely remembers anything about being in the hospital and receiving chemotherapy. But Texas Children's Hospital has certainly made an impression on the Clark Family. Inspired by the Cancer Center's expert nursing care, Tracye has been studying to become a pediatric oncology nurse and the Clarks have become active in efforts to raise money for pediatric brain tumor research.
Morgan Kamille Frazier was born on February 7, 1998 in Los Angeles, CA, the second eldest child to her parents, Stanley and Dineta Frazier. Morgan's family moved to Houston in March 2006.
After a summer filled with fun activities including swim lessons at the YMCA and girl scout camping adventures Morgan entered the 3rd grade at Roth Elementary, Klein School District expecting a typical school year experience.
Two weeks after starting school, Morgan was diagnosed with a rare form of muscle cancer and had to undergo a 1yr treatment plan that included chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to combat the cancer. She was homeschooled and excelled in her studies while in treatment. The first year of treatment seemed to be successful resulting in 4-months of remission. With her treatment behind her she still felt an attachment to the children that remained in the hospital and decided she wanted to help to make their journey through cancer better. So with the help of family and friends she organized a toy drive in December 2007. However, a week before the toy drive Morgan‘s family got the news that her cancer had returned and her options for treatment were limited. Morgan was determined to see her diagnosis as an “opportunity to serve” rather than a sentence and decided to continue the toy drive and she and her family delivered toys to the inpatient unit of Texas Children’s Hospital.
In January of 2008 Morgan entered treatment for the second year. During this course of treatment Morgan received home-bound services during several months of her illness and remained an honor student. Although her health was challenged by the cancer and she could no longer walk Morgan coordinated the second toy drive in December 2008 resulting in over 940 toys being delivered to the Texas Children’s Cancer Center benefiting the patients and siblings. The second year of treatment did yield some results but not a cure. Two weeks after delivering toys to her fellow-patients, Morgan was received into the arms of God on December 28, 2008.
Her life would seem too short to many, but those who were touched by her understood that the quality of her existence far exceeded the quantity of time in which she lived. Her gentle smile could melt the hearts of those around her and she never spoke a word of complaint only encouragement. With her courage, she led her family and others to believe that each day is a blessing and an opportunity to create lasting memories.
Morgan’s family has continued her toy drive effort and this year marks the 5th anniversary for this event. Her legacy and gift of life lives on through the 501 c 3 organization -
A Heart Like Hers Foundation.
Henry was born a few weeks early. He had multiple medical problems from birth. He was diagnosed with a metabolic disorder at about 3 months of age. He also had difficulty gaining weight and with low blood sugars. Although he was sick much of the time, his development has always been ahead of other children his age. During elementary school, Henry was diagnosed with epilepsy at Texas Children’s. He has been seen in the Blue Bird Circle Clinic for Neurological Disorders for 6 years. His neurologists, Dr. Lebron and Dr. Riviello have helped manage his medications and helped optimize his life. Also in elementary school, Henry began to frequently go into anaphylactic allergic reactions. It took many doctors visits and emergency room visits to figure out what he was reacting to. We carefully tracked his diet, changes in lotion/detergent/etc and the pollen count. Dr. Hanson, in allergy and immunology at Texas Children’s, solved the mystery when she diagnosed him with autoimmune cholinergic urticaria with anaphylaxis. This means he is allergic to his own sweat! This condition has been very disruptive to Henry’s life but Dr. Hanson has done wonders finding the correct combination of medications to keep him safe.
We are so thankful to all the doctors that we work with at Texas Children’s Hospital! Henry is now in a gifted and talented program in the 7th grade and making all A’s and B’s. He is also working on his Eagle Scout project in Boy Scouts and a member of the Children’s Advisory Board at Texas Children’s. He is a wonderful boy and his doctors at TCH have given him the best quality of life possible.
On March 19, 2007 it was discovered that Tyler, at 20 weeks gestation, had a very serious and rare condition known as Prune Belly Syndrome. He was born on June 26, 2007 weighing just 3 ½ pounds. Within minutes after birth, he was undergoing surgery to correct a urethral blockage that caused the life threatening syndrome. On November 28, 2007, after several surgeries, infections, and setbacks, Tyler was able to go home with a tracheostomy and on a ventilator. His condition will continue to put him at risk for developing multiple urinary tract and respiratory infections, but with the incredible support of the doctors, nurses, dieticians and other staff at Texas Children’s Hospital, he continues to improve. Tyler is a true miracle. Doctors had warned that he would not survive the pregnancy. Today, Tyler is a rambunctious 3 ½ year old little boy that loves to play outside and dig in the dirt. He enjoys music and any toy with buttons, especially mom and dad’s cell phones.
Alejandro was born May 7, 1996 and has been a patient of TCH since he was 2 years old. He had severe asthma reflux, which was treated by Pulmonary, GI. When Alejandro began attending school they diagnosed him with a learning disability, and then we were referred to the Learning Support Center. After being treated at the LSC Alejandro was diagnosed with ADHD, which helped him with OTC. Alejandro learned the basics on how to utilize his hands (his motor skills) while at the Center. When Alejandro turned eight years old he became overweight, insulin resistant and then this condition developed into an issue with his liver that progressed into a fatty liver problem to NASH. Two years ago Alejandro was introduced to Dr. Stephanie Abrams at the Liver Disease Clinic, and she invited Alejandro to participate in a blind study for NASH. Since this time Alejandro has attended Kamp Kaana (Kids Achieving Activity & Nutrition Awareness). While at camp Alejandro lost a total of 11.5 pounds within two weeks the first time at camp and 8 pounds the second time at camp.
Without the great team of doctors, nurses, and therapists that Alejandro has met in his short life at TCH he wouldn’t be here to tell you the outcome of someone that has spent most of his living time at TCH.
As for today Alejandro still has ADHD, Reflux, Sleep Apnea, and he is still Insulin resistant with Nash but with the team from TCH behind his health, we know that we are well taken care of.
We are greatly appreciative of every one that makes things happen, from the sponsors, the nurses, the doctors and all the research that has been done as he is getting better.