View All Parent Mentors

Amanda
Amanda A.
Born with two heart defects, Lyndee spent nearly 10 weeks at Akron Children’s, with two surgeries along the way. She’s had several procedures and countless follow up visits since then, but her energetic and charming personality makes it difficult to believe she had so many health concerns at such a young age.
Mentor for these care services : Feeding and Nutrition, Nephrology, NICU, Palliative Care, Pulmonary, Seizures, Surgery, Trauma

Amie
Amie S.
Amie’s quintuplets were born at 24 weeks and spent four months in the Akron Children’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). They had many complications, including patent ductus arteriosus, infections, brain bleeds and retinopathy of prematurity and brain bleeds. Despite these conditions and the lengthy NICU stay, the kids are growing and thriving and will soon celebrate their fourth birthday.
Mentor for these care services : Cardiology, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Eye, NICU, Pulmonary, Surgery

Amy
Amy W.
Amy's daughter Kamryn was born with meconium peritonitis secondary to distal ileal volvulus, a condition where her intestines twisted and burst, allowing the contents to spill into the stomach cavity. This rupture led to a large infection that covered most of her organs. After a 79-day stay in the NICU and 6 surgeries, Kamryn is now a healthy, happy 9-year-old.
Mentor for these care services : Gastroenterology, Infectious Disease, NICU, Surgery, Urology

Angela
Angela A.
Angela’s daughter Neviene was with Kleefstra syndrome, a genetic order that can affect many parts of the body. She was the second child diagnosed in Akron, joining only about 300 worldwide. Her symptoms became evident at about 10 months old when she was having difficulty with developmental milestones such as sitting up and crawling. Angela and her husband have since worked with Akron Children’s to manage their daughter’s rare illness.
Mentor for these care services : Cardiology, Developmental Delay, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Eye, Feeding and Nutrition, Genetic Syndromes, Neurology, NICU, Pulmonary

Carol
Carol Z.
Carol Z. and her husband, Paul, have had 2 boys cared for at Akron Children’s. The older son has cystic fibrosis, amblyopia and has had a broken arm. The younger son had to have a minor surgery at 6 months.
Mentor for these care services : Cystic Fibrosis, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Feeding and Nutrition, Genetic Syndromes, Orthopedics, Surgery, Urology

Carol
Carol D.
Carol D. is a mother of 3 teenagers, including a son with hemophilia and a daughter with von Willebrand Disease. Her family has many years of experience living with bleeding disorders.
Mentor for these care services : Hematology, Mental Health

Cassie
Cassie D.
Cassie’s son Owen was born in 2010 with right coronal craniosynostosis. He had a major surgery in May 2011 to correct his condition, as well as three eye surgeries on his eye muscles.
Mentor for these care services : Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Eye, Neurosurgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Christa
Christa C.
Christa C. is the mother of a girl who uses various services at Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley.
Mentor for these care services : Autism, Developmental Delay

Connie
Connie S.
Connie S. is a mother of 3. Two of her children were adopted from Russia. She worked closely with Akron Children's Oak Adoptive Health Center following the adoption to address issues like attachment and bonding, including how to respond to each child’s unique needs.
Mentor for these care services : Adoption

Cristina
Cristina H.
Cristina is a mom to triplets who were born at 28 weeks - Daniel, David and Sara. Daniel had encephalitis, which resulted in a shunt being placed to which he has had numerous revisions. He has also had multiple surgeries to fix other issues such as strabismus, hernias, and ear tubes. David came home on oxygen and had several hospital stays his first year due to BPD, which is now resolved and he is 100 percent healthy. Daniel and David are now 13 years old. Sara passed away from a group B strep infection at 3 weeks old.
Mentor for these care services : Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Delay, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Eye, Neurology, Neurosurgery, NICU, Orthopedics, Surgery

Dave
Dave K.
Dave K. and his wife, Lisa, have a daughter named Claire. Claire was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis a few weeks after birth. While they took the diagnosis pretty hard at first, they’ve since made CF a part of their lives. Claire is doing well with her treatments and has not had any hospital stays.
Mentor for these care services : Cystic Fibrosis, NICU, Pulmonary

Gerianne
Gerianne C
Gerianne’s daughter, Francesca, was diagnosed with systemic lupus at age 7. She did not respond to medication so she needed three surgeries and four years of chemotherapy to control the disease. Now 18, she controls the disease through medication. Francesca just graduated 6th out of 400 in her high school class and will begin studying pre-med at Oberlin in the fall.
Mentor for these care services : Cardiology, Nephrology, Neurology, Rheumatology, Surgery

Gina
Gina K.
Gina and her husband have three kids, including one who was diagnosed with diabetes when she was two. Today, her daughter is 9 years old and together they have successfully navigated the toddler and elementary school stages of this disease.
Mentor for these care services : Diabetes, Endocrine

Janelle
Janelle W.
Janelle’s twins were born 13 weeks early, and faced many obstacles during a 4-month stay in the NICU at Akron Children's. Both faced several chronic health concerns but are now thriving as they approach their fourth birthday.
Mentor for these care services : Asthma, Developmental Delay, Feeding and Nutrition, NICU

Jenn
Jenn G.
Jenn’s son Alex has spent about half of his 15 years at Akron Children’s, with numerous surgeries and clinic visits. Much of his care has involved feeding concerns.
Mentor for these care services : Cardiology, Developmental Delay, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Feeding and Nutrition, NICU, Orthopedics, Surgery, Trach / Ventilator, Urology

Jennifer
Jennifer K.
Jennifer’s son Kyle was diagnosed at 6 months old with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). The diagnosis was confirmed by a visit to the Center for Genetics and Metabolism at Akron Children’s. Six years later, NF has become the norm for Kyle and his family. Kyle is an active child who has grown accustomed to his condition. Jennifer and her husband would like to help others who have a child with a similar condition.
Mentor for these care services : Autism, Developmental Delay, Genetic Syndromes, Neurology, Orthopedics, Rehab

Jennifer
Jennifer K.
Jennifer K. is the mother of a happy and healthy 4-year-old boy. Her son was born 2 ½ months early with necrotizing enterocolitis. He spent 2 ½ months in the NICU at Akron Children’s Hospital. He experienced feeding problems even after he went home but is doing well now.
Mentor for these care services : Developmental Delay, Feeding and Nutrition, Gastroenterology, NICU

Jodi
Jodi W.
Jodi's daughter Megan was born with biliary atresia. She had the Kasai procedure and a liver transplant and is now 11 years old and doing well.
Mentor for these care services : Gastroenterology

Joy
Joy S.
Joy’s son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at age 9. As a life-long advocate for many public concerns, Joy started ASPIES Greater Akron to provide support for other families with a child on the autism spectrum.
Mentor for these care services : Autism

Judy
Judy D.
Judy’s son Jack was born with cardio facio cutaneous syndrome. His health problems included pulmonary stenosis, severe apnea, spinal malformation, failure to thrive and complete developmental delay. Through the knowledge gained and experiences over the years, as well as plenty of hard work, Jack is now 15 years old and doing well.
Mentor for these care services : Developmental Delay, Eye, Genetic Syndromes, Orthopedics, Rehab, Seizures, Surgery, Urology

Kelly
Kelly R.
Born at just over 29 weeks, Kelly’s triplets – Mathew, Michael and Morgan – each had a stay of several weeks in the NICU at Akron Children’s. They all experienced complications typical of triplets, but the two boys also had brain bleeds. Mathew’s cleared up on his own but Michael’s affected his motor skills on his right side. Michael is doing well in therapy and has recently started to walk.
Mentor for these care services : Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Delay, Neurology, NICU, Rehab, Surgery

Kelly
Kelly R.
Kelly’s son Derek spent time on a respirator in the Akron Children’s NICU. He was deprived of oxygen at birth as the result of bleeding caused by a placental abruption. Another son, Patrick, spend some time on a respirator after being born at 34 weeks. Kelly hopes to share the same emotional and spiritual support she received during her sons’ stays at Akron Children’s.
Mentor for these care services : Autism, Mental Health, NICU

Kelly
Kelly C.
Kelly’s son was delivered at 37 weeks to help her deal with HELLP syndrome, a severe form of pre-eclampsia. Shortly after birth, he was diagnosed with severe respiratory distress syndrome and pulmonary hypertension. He was intubated and required feedings through an NG tube, but he went home after 17 days in the NICU. He is now 4 years old and doing well.
Mentor for these care services : NICU

Kim
Kim M.
Although Kim and Randy’s oldest son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes two weeks shy of his 11th birthday, he has not let it slow him down. He is a student-athlete who plays football, basketball, baseball and runs track. They also enjoy camping and snow skiing.
Mentor for these care services : Diabetes

Kim
Kim J.
Kim’s son Luke was diagnosed at age 3 with autism. His language skills began to slip away. He also became less engaged with others, smiled less and didn't seem to want hugs, kisses, or to be held. Now at 7 years old, he is still non-verbal but laughs and smiles. Kim would to help others, especially in finding a support network of professionals, family and friends.
Mentor for these care services : Autism, Developmental Delay

Laura
Laura G.
Laura’s daughter Jamie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 8 years old but it has not slowed her down. She plays sports and goes to sleepovers but her favorite part of the year is diabetes camp.
Mentor for these care services : Diabetes

Laureen
Laureen S.
Laureen's 8-year-old son Anthony was diagnosed with a cerebellar brain tumor and hydrocephalus. Following surgery for the tumor, he developed posterior fossa syndrome and lost the ability to speak and move his body. After many hours of therapy, he has made a remarkable recovery. He is riding a bike again, playing with friends and doing well in school.
Mentor for these care services : Neurology, Neurosurgery, Surgery, Trauma

Lauri
Lauri E.
Born at 27 weeks, Tyler was born with and continues to deal with many disabilities throughout his life. Now 18 years old, he is ready to graduate high school with honors, despite the many challenges he has faced.
Mentor for these care services : Asthma, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Delay, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Endocrine, Eye, Gastroenterology, Hematology, Infectious Disease, Nephrology, Neurology, Orthopedics

Lisa
Lisa L.
Lisa’s daughter Savannah began having terrible headaches when she was 16 years old. Now 18, she still struggles with these headaches, as well as nausea, dizziness and light sensitivity. In the search to ease her daughter’s symptoms, Lisa has tapped into traditional and alternative resources throughout northeast Ohio and would like to be a resource to others in similar circumstances.
Mentor for these care services : Allergy, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Mental Health, Neurology, Rehab

Marjorie
Marjorie C.
Marjorie’s 14-year-old son Alex lives with mood and anxiety disorders. She has spent years searching for answers to his condition and is focused on eliminating stigmas, building resiliency and changing the current mental health system.
Mentor for these care services : Mental Health, Orthopedics

Mary
Mary L.
Mary’s son Justin was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 8 years old. Since then, he has maintained an active lifestyle and is now on the high school soccer team.
Mentor for these care services : Diabetes, Gastroenterology

Mary Beth
Mary Beth S.
Mary Beth has two children with chronic medical concerns. Her daughter has Turner’s syndrome and has been cared for by several specialists. Her son has asthma and allergies, migraines, anxiety, and is fructose intolerant.
Mentor for these care services : Asthma, Allergy, Developmental Delay, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Endocrine, Eye, Feeding and Nutrition, Gastroenterology, Genetic Syndromes, Neurology, Orthopedics

Marybeth
Marybeth F.
Marybeth’s daughter, Sofia, was born at 28 weeks, and had several complications related to her prematurity. These issues were resolved during her 12-week stay in the NICU, although she still used an NG tube for a short period after going home. Today, she is hitting all of her developmental milestones and doing well.
Mentor for these care services : Developmental Delay, Feeding and Nutrition, NICU

Michelle
Michelle G.
Michelle's son Mason was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 4 years old. Although helping him manage his lifestyle was daunting at first, four years of experience have helped Michelle and family settle into the "new normal" of raising a child with a chronic condition.
Mentor for these care services : Diabetes, Eye

Michelle
Michelle J.
When Michelle's daughter was born with Down syndrome, she dedicated herself to providing her with the best possible life. Her personal experiences with caring for her daughter, and professional experiences in the health care field, led her to become a co-founder of the Down Syndrome Association of the Valley (DSAV).
Mentor for these care services : Cancer, Cardiology, Genetic Syndromes, Hematology, NICU

Molly
Molly C.
Amie’s quintuplets were born at 24 weeks and spent four months in the Akron Children’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). They had many complications, including patent ductus arteriosus, infections, brain bleeds and retinopathy of prematurity and brain bleeds. Despite these conditions and the lengthy NICU stay, the kids are growing and thriving and will soon celebrate their fourth birthday.
Mentor for these care services : Developmental Delay, Eye, Feeding and Nutrition, Gastroenterology, NICU, Surgery

Nairmeen
Nairmeen H.
Nairmeen's son was 2 ½ years old when he received a severe traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident. He spent three weeks in the hospital followed by several more weeks of rehabilitation. Today, he is a very active, healthy 9 year old.
Mentor for these care services : Eye, Feeding and Nutrition, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Rehab, Trauma

Nichole
Nichole U.
Nichole's son, Brady, was born four weeks early and was transferred to the NICU at Akron Children's Hospital less than 6 hours after his birth. He was diagnosed with tracheal esophageal fistula. During his 15-month stay, he faced many surgeries and health obstacles. Today, Brady is 11 years old. While his lungs are still sensitive to infection, he’s been spending less time in the hospital and more time as a typical school-age kid.
Mentor for these care services : Asthma, Feeding and Nutrition, Neurology, NICU, Palliative Care, Pulmonary, Trach / Ventilator

Nicole
Nicole M.
Nicole and her husband Chris adopted their daughter from Ethiopia in 2009. She was 7 months old. She had been living in an orphanage since birth. Their daughter has been diagnosed with febrile seizures, ADHD, Blount's disease, a submucous cleft palate and developmental delays. She receives speech and occupational therapy weekly and has received physical therapy in the past.
Mentor for these care services : Adoption, Developmental Delay, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Neurology, Orthopedics, Seizures, Surgery

Pamela
Pamela S.
Pamela' daughter Katherine struggled to breathe, eat or even move when she was born. She spent several weeks in NICU where doctors diagnosed her with arthrogryposis, a muscle disorder that causes muscle weakness and contractures. She has been a frequent visitor to Akron Children’s over the years for a variety of complications and chronic conditions, but has emerged as a resilient, energetic 16-year-old high school freshman.
Mentor for these care services : Cardiology, Developmental Delay, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Eye, Feeding and Nutrition, Gastroenterology, Genetic Syndromes, Neurology, NICU, Orthopedics, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Patty
Patty J.
Patty's daughter is 25 years old, but has had many ups and downs with cystic fibrosis. She is also allergic to antibiotics and has had challenges with anxiety.
Mentor for these care services : Allergy, Cystic Fibrosis, Pulmonary

Randi
Randi C.
Randi’s son has had several chronic medical complications, including hemophilia and leukemia. He also had a spontaneous brain bleed in July 2013.
Mentor for these care services : Cancer, Hematology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Surgery

Rebecca
Rebecca M.
After being born three months premature and spending nearly four months in a NICU, Savannah made it home briefly before additional health complications led to a four-month stay in the Akron Children’s PICU where she fought for her life. Although she relies on several medical interventions, Savannah is back home and beginning to thrive.
Mentor for these care services : Pulmonary, Trach / Ventilator

Renee
Renee T.
Born with Down syndrome, Renee's son Johnny had many health issues unique to him. He’s had to endure many medical interventions over the years, but the result has been a very strong and resilient child. She also has a daughter coping with a rare autoimmune disorder of the skin. Through the assistance of doctors and counselors, she is thriving.
Mentor for these care services : Asthma, Allergy, Cardiology, Developmental Delay, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Endocrine, Eye, Feeding and Nutrition, Gastroenterology, Genetic Syndromes, Hematology

Robin
Robin H.
Robin's daughter Casey was born with Prader Willi syndrome, a rare condition affecting the 15th chromosome. She has also been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and has had several surgeries to correct scoliosis caused by the syndrome. Now 12 years old, she has reached her maximum height and is preparing for a final spinal fusion surgery.
Mentor for these care services : Cardiology, Developmental Delay, Endocrine, Feeding and Nutrition, Orthopedics, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Pulmonary, Seizures, Surgery

Sam
Sam S.
On her second day of life, Sam’s daughter had a sudden onset of severe shock and trouble breathing. She had to be transferred to Akron Children’s to be put on a respirator. Four nearly four weeks, she was treated for heart, liver, brain and lung problems, although an exact diagnosis was never made. In the end, she went home healthy. Sam and his wife believe this result was the result of a skilled medical team and the practice of family centered care at Akron Children’s Hospital.
Mentor for these care services : Asthma, NICU, Pulmonary, Seizures, Trach / Ventilator

Shelly
Shelly D.
Both of Shelly's sons have been cared for by Akron Children’s. Her oldest has autism and a sensory processing disorder. Her youngest was born with a cleft lip and palate. He has had several surgeries to correct this condition and will probably have a few more.
Mentor for these care services : Autism, Developmental Delay, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Surgery

Sherri
Sherri M.
Sherri's first daughter, Gianna Lynne, was stillborn. The grief and loss she felt led her to found Gianna’s Light, to provide comfort and hope to other families experiencing the loss of their baby. Eighteen months later, she gave birth to Elliana Grace three months early. While Elliana was only 2 pounds and was dealing with a level 2 intraventricular hemmorage, they brought her home from the NICU 72 days later.
Mentor for these care services : Grief and Loss, NICU

Stephane
Stephane W.
Stephane is a first-time mom. Her daughter, Meredith Grace, has Tetralogy of Fallot.
Mentor for these care services : Cardiology

Tammie
Tammie M.
Tammie's son, Tristan, was born with several chronic conditions, including cerebral palsy, cortical vision impairment and spastic quadriparesis. He is also non-verbal, has seizures and is developmentally delayed. Other health concerns include hip dysplasia and ear infections. He is now 9 years old and home schooled by mom.
Mentor for these care services : Adoption, Allergy, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Delay, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Eye, Feeding and Nutrition, Neurology, Neurosurgery, NICU, Orthopedics, Rehab

Tara
Tara S.
Tara’s son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of two. Since this diagnosis, Tara and her husband have advocated for his needs by learning everything they could about diabetes, and by working with doctors, nurses and outreach staff to ensure the best possible management of his disease.
Mentor for these care services : Diabetes, Endocrine

Terrill
Terrill M.
Terrill is the mother of an adopted daughter from Guatemala. Her daughter was adopted at 7 months old and is now 11 years old. She received help with her daughter’s defiant behavior from the Oak Adoptive Health Center. She also has hearing loss in one ear, as well as indoor and outdoor allergies.
Mentor for these care services : Adoption, Allergy, Ear Nose Throat (ENT), Mental Health

Timothy
Timothy S.
At 7 years old, Timothy’s son Tim was diagnosed with type one diabetes. Prior to his diagnosis, he frequently used the bathroom and was thirsty all of the time. Two years later, Tim leads a full, rich life. He is a cub scout, plays sports and enjoys school. He is assisted by an insulin pump, as well as his supportive parents and brother.
Mentor for these care services : Diabetes, Endocrine

Tracie
Tracie B.
Tracie’s daughter Emily was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of three, then one year later with celiac disease. Now at age 10 she enjoys many of the fun things that all children do.
Mentor for these care services : Diabetes, Endocrine, Feeding and Nutrition, Rheumatology

Zenia
Zenia N.
Zenia is the mother of two children affected by sickle cell. Her daughter, now in her twenties, has sickle cell disease and has spent some time in the hospital. Her son has sickle cell trait and is very active in sports. Zenia is also a hematology/oncology registered nurse.

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