Standing tall: Scoliosis surgeries help straighten severe curvature of 10 year old’s spine

Shannon is now 2 1/2 inches taller after Dr. Bono (right) performed her scoliosis surgeries.

Shannon Stapleton, of Mansfield, was diagnosed with scoliosis about 2 years ago when her cardiologist C.R. Patel noticed the “S” curve of her spine during an annual appointment. He referred her to Dr. Kenneth Bono, who diagnosed her with a nearly 100-degree curvature.

Petie the Pony makes a day in the hospital much brighter for our patients and staff


It is not without some heroic effort on the behalf of the staff at Victory Gallop that Petie the Pony makes his weekly hospital visits. But every ounce of energy expended to prepare the half miniature horse, half pony is paid off in smiles, giggles and parental gratitude.

Animal magnetism: Dog and pony show is great for our patients


Doggie Brigade handler Chris Witschey has seen the power animals can have on hospitalized children.One of our brigade’s most dedicated handlers, Witschey has been bringing three dogs, two of which have special needs, to the hospital on a regular basis for the past 8 years.

Petie the Pony logged more than 90 hours of bedside care in 2012 [Photo Gallery]

Petie always leaves behind a stuffed replica of himself so patients can cherish his special visits

Petie the Pony may be short in stature, but he’s sure long on endurance.

Celebrating the Doggie Brigade’s 20th anniversary (that’s 140 in dog years)

Kayla visits a cancer patient at Akron Children's

Twenty years ago, Akron Children’s was the second hospital in the country to create a volunteer pet program, dubbed the Doggie Brigade. The program, patterned after a similar one at Denver Children’s Hospital, makes it possible for dogs to visit youngsters on our patient units and at special events.

Giddy Up! I found the perfect support group

Sue and Kim of Victory Gallop hold onto Baby Jude while he rides Petie the Pony

Since our journey with Baby Jude began, I have been invited to several support groups. (P.S. When you are repeatedly given a flyer listing a support group date and time, it just might be a hint that you should attend. Thank you, Help Me Grow Tim. You are nothing if not subtle.) I tried it. I […]