After a successful visit in August with veteran IndyCar Series driver Ed Carpenter, Racing for Kids stopped the races and popped in for another visit at Akron Children’s Hospital. But this time around, Racing for Kids shook things up and joined forces with Historic Sportscar Racing.
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.
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.
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 may be short in stature, but he’s sure long on endurance.
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.