Palliative care eases the burden for Akron family


In the spring of 2013, Sandi and David Cleavenger anxiously awaited the birth of their first child. Jack arrived prematurely, and soon after, his parents learned he had a problem with his heart. He was also born with Down syndrome. The couple was shocked by the news.

Poland girl shares “Pilot for a Day” experience with Air Force veteran grandfather

Pilot for a Day Celina Dennis

You can’t blame Celina Dennis for having a hard time pinpointing the best part of her “Pilot for a Day” experience at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station this week. Since June 2000, the Pilot for a Day program has given more than 60 children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses an opportunity to meet Reservists and receive a VIP, behind-the-scenes air base experience.

A team approach to caring for Bartter syndrome

Ethan Hoffman with Dr. Guru at his pediatrician's office in Warren

May is Bartter Syndrome Awareness Month in Ohio, thanks to 11-year-old Ethan Hoffman who went to Columbus last year to raise awareness about the serious medical condition. Ethan had been diagnosed at age 4 with Bartter syndrome, a rare group of conditions that affect his kidneys. If undiagnosed or untreated, it can lead to kidney failure or cardiac arrest.

Bone cancer doesn’t slow down this survivor

Brandon and his fiance, Kelly

While at a dirt bike race in June of 2012, Brandon O’Donnell noticed some pain in his left knee. At first he thought he had torn his meniscus, so the next day he went to his orthopedic surgeon to get an MRI. The MRI revealed the cause of his pain was osteosarcoma, a common form […]

Harper celebrates her first birthday


A whole year has gone by. When I think back to this day a year ago, I didn’t know anything about Harper’s awesomeness before she was born. I remember so many emotions that day: nervousness, excitedness, sadness. I was all over the place. If there was anything I could change, I would make sure I had seen my baby before they told me she had Down syndrome and a heart defect.

Meet Andrew: Making the transition from pediatric to adult congenital heart care

Andrew Testa

When Andrew Testa was born in June 1995, his parents, Joe and Lisa, of Green, thought they had a healthy baby boy on their hands. Little did they know their world was about to change. A routine checkup at 4 months old revealed Andrew had a heart murmur, which earned him a referral to Akron Children’s cardiology department.