Meet Our Patient Ambassadors

Nominated by their community and caregivers, our Patient Ambassadors have displayed extraordinary strength and courage in the face of tremendous medical challenges. Their stories of resilience remind us why it’s so important to support Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Our Ambassadors have endured more surgeries, setbacks, struggles and hospitalizations than most people experience in a lifetime. And yet, despite everything they have been through, they want to give back to help other patients. Each Ambassador has created a personal fundraising page to support an area of the hospital that is meaningful to him or her.

Read more about our Ambassadors’ stories below, and please consider donating to their fundraising efforts.

Adalyn

Adalyn

Adalyn was born premature at almost 28 weeks. After being resuscitated and transported to Children’s Colorado, doctors gave Addy inhaled nitric oxide to open her lungs. She experienced strokes that caused severe brain bleeding and hemorrhaging in her lungs. About 100 days later, she was discharged from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Addy quickly started physical, occupational and speech therapies at the Children’s Colorado Neuromuscular Clinic. After more than three years of rehabilitation, Addy is now a thriving preschooler.

Donate to Adalyn’s Fundraising Page
Adi

Adi

When Adi was born, doctors thought she had a birthmark called a port wine stain. Adi was then seen at Children’s Colorado, where dermatology experts realized she had a vascular birthmark called a hemangioma. It was a tumor that was expected to grow rapidly. Although it was not cancerous, Adi needed steroid treatments to stop the tumor from growing. The steroids were successful, and her birthmark now poses no serious health threats. Today, Adi stays busy playing piano, dancing and playing soccer.

Donate to Adi’s Fundraising Page
Andy

Andy

Andy had to be placed in a medically induced coma for six weeks at Children’s Colorado to save his life after he suddenly began to experience uncontrollable seizures. He was diagnosed with Febrile Infection-Related Epileptic Syndrome (FIRES), a very rare, life-threatening condition that results in developmental disabilities and epilepsy. The rehab team helped him relearn how to eat and walk, and he attended the Medical Day Treatment program until he was ready to return to his school.

Donate to Andy’s Fundraising Page
Antonio

Antonio

When his parents were told Antonio likely would not survive birth after an ultrasound detected multiple heart defects, they turned to the fetal cardiology experts at Children Colorado. Antonio was born in the Colorado Fetal Care Center. At just shy of 1 month old, Antonio underwent open-heart surgery. In his young life, he’s already undergone three more open-heart operations – and it’s possible he will need a heart transplant in the future. His parents describe Antonio as a lovable and active youngster who loves dinosaurs, the movie Frozen, and of course, superheroes.

Donate to Antonio’s Fundraising Page
Bexley

Bexley

Bexley was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at Children’s Colorado, Colorado Springs in 2020. The hospital has become a home away from home for her and her parents. Cancer hasn’t slowed Bexley down one bit; her days are filled with riding her bike and playing with her friends and three older brothers. She also loves bringing donated toys to her friends in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Donate to Bexley’s Fundraising Page
Ciela and Mila

Ciela and Mila

After experiencing intense contractions when she was 22 weeks pregnant with her twin daughters, Ciela and Mila, Nicole was referred to the Colorado Fetal Care Center at Children’s Colorado. She learned that her babies had developed twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, a rare condition affecting the connections of blood vessels in the placenta. She needed a procedure to save the twins. The procedure worked, and the girls were born at 32 weeks gestation. Seven years later the twins are thriving.

Donate to Ciela and Mila’s Fundraising Page
Colt

Colt

Hours after being born, Colt was rushed to Children’s Colorado where he was diagnosed with hypoplastic right heart syndrome, a rare, life-threatening heart defect in which the right side of the heart is malformed. Since then, Colt has had three heart surgeries to repair his heart – the first when he was 5 days old. Although the little boy will need more surgeries in the future when his valve needs to be replaced, he plays hockey, skateboards and sings with a choir.

Donate to Colt’s Fundraising Page
Cooper

Cooper

Cooper was 15 months old when his mom discovered a bump on his back. He was sent to Children’s Colorado for further testing, which led to a diagnosis of Morquio syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes skeletal abnormalities and other serious medical issues. Cooper gets weekly infusions at the hospital’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. He has also undergone multiple reparative surgeries to address the problems with his bones and improve his mobility. He now plays hockey and basketball.

Donate to Cooper’s Fundraising Page
Ella

Ella

Ella was 11 months old when she leaned against a hot glass fireplace screen, causing severe heat contact burns on her palms. Her parents rushed her to Children’s Colorado. Ella received multiple skin grafts on both her hands and underwent years of occupational, rehabilitation and physical therapy. Later, she attended the Children’s Colorado Burn Camps Program, a residential camp specially designed to help children who have sustained a burn injury. Today, Ella is an accomplished pianist, loves to draw Japanese-style anime and wants to be an illustrator when she grows up.

Donate to Ella’s Fundraising Page
Emma

Emma

In March 2020, Emma turned her high-achieving drive toward monitoring her food intake and personal fitness to cope with COVID-19. Emma’s weight had fallen off her normal growth chart progression. She was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, anxiety and depression. Several months later, Emma’s health declined even further. She was admitted to the inpatient Eating Disorders Program. When she was released, she struggled to maintain her health, and was readmitted. After her second stay, Emma was admitted to a residential eating disorders program. Emma was in the program for four months and has been on the road to recovery ever since.

Donate to Emma’s Fundraising Page
Giovanni

Giovanni

Giovanni has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare condition affecting physical and intellectual development. This condition can cause cognitive delays, low muscle tone and seizures, but the prognosis varies considerably for each patient. Fortunately, Giovanni is making wonderful strides after his military family was transferred to Colorado Springs in 2015, and Giovanni began receiving care at Children’s Colorado. Today, he sees a team of specialists and through multiple therapies at Children’s Colorado, Giovanni is walking, signing, singing and dancing, surpassing everyone’s expectation of what he would be able to do.

Donate to Giovanni’s Fundraising Page
Harshit

Harshit

Born in India with severe skin lesions, at the age of 5 Harshit was diagnosed with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare and serious disorder characterized by fragile skin and fused fingers and toes. Doctors at Children’s Colorado successfully separated the fingers on his left hand allowing him to sketch, grab a carton of milk and empty the dishwasher. Now a successful high school student, Harshit celebrates small accomplishments and has big dreams of traveling to Mars.

Donate to Harshit’s Fundraising Page
Havana

Havana

Just after Havana was born, her parents were told that she had a severely deformed valve in her heart. Initially too small for the surgery that could save her life, Havana grew enough to have an operation at the Children’s Colorado Heart Institute. It was a temporary fix for her valve. Doctors determined that a heart transplant would give her the best likelihood of survival. At 2 months old, Havana got her new heart. Today, she is a healthy elementary schooler.

Donate to Havana’s Fundraising Page
Haylie

Haylie

Haylie was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening heart condition, Tetralogy of Fallot, before she was even born. Tetralogy of Fallot is often caused by a combination of four heart defects. Haylie had her first surgery when she was 3 months old, then four more heart operations as she got older, three of which were open-heart surgeries. She also received a pacemaker. Although she will need another surgery for her heart at some point in her life, Haylie is now a competitive high school swimmer.

Donate to Haylie’s Fundraising Page
Imani

Imani

Imani was diagnosed with sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder, at Children’s Colorado when she was 2 weeks old. Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to become hard, sticky and misshapen, causing pain and other serious problems. Imani says that the child life team at Children’s Colorado helps to make her hospital stays easier. Although her condition makes it challenging to participate in many outdoor activities, Imani finds joy in dancing, basketball, art, Legos and traveling, especially to Las Vegas.

Donate to Imani’s Fundraising Page
Jackson

Jackson

Born at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Jackson had his first heart surgery four days later. He was diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome, an acronym for many of the symptoms related to his extremely complex condition. In the first several months of his life, he had two heart surgeries. Due to the complex nature of his body and syndrome, doctors do not believe Jackson, now a funny, friendly elementary schooler, would recover from the third surgery he needs. Research is Jackson’s best hope.

Donate to Jackson’s Fundraising Page
John

John

John was born with a serious congenital heart defect called coarctation of the aorta. He had his first open-heart surgery at just 4 days old. Then, at 8 months old, John unexpectedly had to have a second open-heart operation. As John got older, he began to experience several complications related to undergoing multiple heart surgeries at such a young age. Despite these challenges, John, who is now a middle schooler, has thrived. He will likely need another heart surgery at some point, especially as his body grows.

Donate to John’s Fundraising Page
Kai

Kai

Kai started experiencing what his parents thought was a sinus infection and some mild abdominal discomfort. His dad took him to their primary care doctor near their home in Colorado Springs. A CT scan and subsequent MRI revealed Kai had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. He had a mass on his left kidney that was the size of a peach. Kai immediately began treatment at Children’s Colorado. Today, he is hopeful that his cancer is gone for good.

Donate to Kai’s Fundraising Page
Lily

Lily

For the past several years, Lily has been treated at the Children’s Colorado Pediatric Mental Health Institute for a variety of conditions, including anxiety, autism and ADHD. Then, at 10 years old, she began experiencing gastrointestinal problems. After seeing experts at the hospital’s Digestive Health Institute, she was diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune condition in which gluten inflames the small intestine. Lily is now healthier and taller after adjusting what she eats – and she loves to figure skate and play violin.

Donate to Lily’s Fundraising Page
Luthien

Luthien

Luthien was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety and admitted to the Partial Hospitalization Program at the Children’s Colorado Pediatric Mental Health Institute. After her diagnosis, she was relieved to understand what was going on in her mind – and to know that mental health specialists were there to help her. Today, Luthien and her family are dedicated to advocating for the importance of mental health care for everyone, especially access to services for underserved Latino and Hispanic populations, refugees and immigrants.

Donate to Luthien’s Fundraising Page
Maddy

Madelyn

As a baby, Madelyn met most of her developmental stages on time – but then the clock seemed to turn backwards. She was eventually diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a rare neurological genetic condition that can lead to a wide range of symptoms. Madelyn began receiving care at Children’s Colorado and was enrolled in several research studies. Now a high schooler, Maddy loves fashion, sporting events, anything related to Harry Potter and playing with her dogs. She dreams of becoming a food critic one day.

Donate to Madelyn’s Fundraising Page
Piper

Piper

After running numerous tests, doctors discovered that Piper had a form of cancer called Ewing Sarcoma, growing as a soft tumor in her spine. Piper was immediately admitted to Children’s Colorado. After many rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, Piper was cancer free. Today, the creative, big-hearted elementary schooler is still in physical and occupational therapy, but the family said they have made it through some of the toughest days of their ordeal with the help of support from every area of the hospital.

Donate to Piper’s Fundraising Page
Porter

Porter

Porter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) when he was 2, but cancer didn’t stand a chance against this pint-size superhero. Often arriving to Children’s Colorado dressed and ready for battle as Captain America, Spider-Man or Superman, he completed three and a half years of treatment in September 2020 and has been doing great ever since. Now that he’s fully recovered, Porter spends his free time playing baseball, hockey, singing and dancing.

Donate to Porter’s Fundraising Page
Shelten

Shelten

Shelten was an active high school athlete, but at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, his eating behaviors began to change dramatically. He lost one third of his body weight and was admitted to the Children’s Colorado, Colorado Springs Emergency Department, when his heart rate became dangerously low. He spent months undergoing intensive inpatient therapy in Aurora to help him recover from his eating disorder. Now, he is back to playing football and wants to fundraise so other kids can access the care they need.

Donate to Shelten’s Fundraising Page
Thomas

Tommy

Although Tommy had been complaining about pain in his ankle since he was 4 or 5, it wasn’t until he was 15 that he was correctly diagnosed with a synovial sarcoma, a rare cancer that grows around the joints. Doctors amputated his leg just below the knee, leaving Tommy with the ability to continue to run, a sport he loves. Tommy can run a 5K race in just over 18 minutes. Tommy has now been cancer free for three years and is looking forward to the future.

Donate to Tommy’s Fundraising Page
William

Will

Will, a high school student, was seriously injured in the summer of 2020 when a small smoke flare – the kind sold alongside sparklers at roadside fireworks tents – malfunctioned and exploded in his hand. The accident left Will with painful burns along his right palm, thumb and index finger. He was treated at the Burn Center at Children’s Colorado and has participated in the hospital’s annual Burn Camp ever since his injury. Today, he enjoys cross country running, golfing and snowboarding.

Donate to Will’s Fundraising Page
Zahara

Zahara

Zahara was born deaf and had become totally blind by age 3, losing both eyes to a rare cancer. She was adopted from an orphanage in China after spending the first eight years of her life without access to communication. Zahara received cochlear implants at Children’s Colorado, enabling her to hear for the first time. She’s now attending school, can speak a few words and is learning tactile sign language. Zahara is fun-loving, a bit of a prankster and enjoys listening to music, especially the Beatles.

Donate to Zahara’s Fundraising Page
Zoie

Zoie

At age 3, Zoie was diagnosed with tibial hemimelia, a rare genetic disorder in which a child is born with limb deformities. Since her diagnosis, Zoie has had two surgeries at Children’s Colorado – one to create a missing ligament and the other to reconstruct her ankle and place plates in her legs. In the next 10 years, Zoie will endure several more surgeries. Her doctors work to reduce her chronic pain and keep Zoie focused on her big dreams, including becoming the first Paralympic gymnast.

Donate to Zoie’s Fundraising Page

Nominate a patient

Do you know a current or former patient who wants to share their story and help raise money for Children’s Hospital Colorado?

Ideal Ambassador candidates are children aged 3-16 who have an outgoing personality, a strong relationship with Children’s Colorado, and a desire to get involved in our mission.

Contact Us About the Ambassador Program