Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Transplant Recipient Named Children’s Miracle Network “Champion” for 2012
Each year, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ (CMNH) Champions program celebrates a child from every state and Canada who has bravely battled a serious injury or illness. The Champions and their families will travel to Washington, D.C. and Orlando, Fla. next month to share their inspiring stories and the important work going on at children’s hospitals with congressional leaders, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ corporate partners and the media.
“Luke is an amazing young man who inspires everyone he comes in contact with at Children’s Hospital. We’re humbled to have him represent us and all of our patient families as the 2012 Champion of Pennsylvania,” said Greg Barrett
, president, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation
. “We’re also proud to partner with a tremendous organization like CMNH that is focused on working with children’s hospitals around the country to give as many children as possible opportunities like Luke has had.”
Born prematurely at only 26 weeks, Luke’s tiny lungs never developed enough to support his body as he grew. By age 8, Luke was bound to a wheelchair, requiring oxygen and respiratory support around the clock. After years of unsuccessful treatments, Luke’s parents sought out the pulmonary and transplant specialists at Children’s Hospital. His parents and doctors decided a lung transplant was his only option. Since undergoing a double-lung transplant in 2010, Luke’s quality of life has changed dramatically. He is now able to play his favorite sport, baseball, and ride his bike without struggling to breathe.
Luke, now 11 years old, and his family reside in Nazareth, Pa. He was adopted by Glen and Heather Maeding when he was 22 months old and has two brothers and three sisters. Luke will travel with his mother, sister Carline, brother Logan to Washington, D.C. He will then join with the rest of his family: his father, brother Gregory, and sisters Kyara and Makayla, in Orlando, Fla.
Delta Air Lines, Ace Hardware and Chico’s FAS are official sponsors of the 2012 Champions program.