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Meet the GIANT Miracle Kids

Capping off GIANT Food Stores annual summer fundraising campaign for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals, a number of very special kids have been invited to be the guests of honor at a special golf weekend designed to celebrate their achievements. Meet these wonderful pediatric patients treated at their local CMN Hospital.

Aaron Hauger

Autoimmune Encephalitis

After having horrible headaches and strange behavior, Aaron was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. He was diagnosed with Autoimmune Encephalitis. This is a rare illness where the body mistakenly attacks healthy brain cells. Aaron was in a coma-like state, and his illness caused damage to his brain–affecting his speech and motor skills. Thanks to his pediatric therapists he has relearned how to walk and talk. Now less than a year later he has returned to school and loves playing sports.

Comcast is playing in honor of Aaron.


Anna Pitts

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

At just 18 months old Anna struggled with ear infections, high fevers, a decline in appetite and pain in both legs that caused her to stop walking. After several doctor visits, her family was sent to the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital to meet with doctors for additional testing. Anna was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL for short. The treatment for ALL is two and a half years of intense chemotherapy. Anna endured surgeries, blood transfusions, the loss of her hair and extended hospital stays.

In January of this year, Anna’s family got the news that she is now five years off of her treatments and now classified as a cancer survivor! Anna is now a healthy nine year old little girl that enjoys gymnastics, soccer, making slime and spending time with her family and friends.

Chiquita Brands is playing in honor of Anna.


Emily Garrett

Sacrococcygeal Teratoma

In utero doctors found a tumor on Emily’s tailbone. The tumor was diagnosed as a Sacrococcygeal Teratoma. Emily’s family was told she only had a 50/50 chance of surviving in utero. During the 34th week of pregnancy Emily’s tumor hemorrhaged and she was delivered via emergency c-section at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Emily required several blood transfusions and surgery. She spent 34 days in Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s NICU. She is now followed closely by doctors to lessen the chance of a reoccurrence.

Kraft Heinz Company is playing in honor of Emily.


Emmy Miller

Severe food allergy

At six months old Emmy experienced a bright red face and major swelling after her first formula bottle. Emmy had an anaphylactic reaction to the dairy found in baby formula. Additional testing showed that Emmy had life-threatening food allergies to dairy, soy, peanuts and other common foods. Her allergies were so severe that she even dealt with hives and rashes just from touching surfaces with these food residue on them. When Emmy turned three she had her first appointment with a Food Allergy Specialist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Three years later she was asked to participate in a clinical trial for her wheat allergy. She is now able to fully tolerate wheat. Emmy now is a participant in a triple allergen study, that if successful she may be able to eat milk, eggs and peanuts.

Dole is playing in honor of Emmy.


Henry Thomas

Coarctation of the Aorta

Henry was a healthy thriving little boy, who never showed symptoms or poor growth. At Henry’s 30 week wellness visit the doctors found a Coarctation of the Aorta. This means there was is a narrowed area of a blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Following the discovery of his Congenital Heart Disease, Henry underwent heart surgery at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Today he has a clean bill of health! He is followed yearly by his cardiologists at Penn State. Henry is a true heart warrior and wants to help all children affected by Congenital Heart Disease.

Universal Media is playing in honor of Henry.


Kaeden Rhoads

Heart Defects

When Kaeden was only two days old his mother knew in her heart something was wrong. Using detailed ultrasound equipment doctors found Kaeden’s heart was on his left side instead of his right, along with several heart defects. The defects were so severe Kaeden was immediately transported to Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital leading to his first of many open – heart surgeries.

Pepsi is playing in honor of Kaeden.


Sophia “Lucy” Roop


When Lucy was three years old she struggled with continuous high fevers and shoulder pain. After ordering blood work, doctors found Lucy has an extremely low white blood cell count. Lucy was referred to Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital to be seen by a hematology/oncology specialist. Lucy was diagnosed with Leukemia. After being diagnosed treatment immediately followed for more than two year. Now, more than three years later Lucy is cancer free.

Coca Cola is playing in honor of Lucy.


Rosie Vargas

Maple Syrup Urine Disease

Rosie was diagnosed with an extremely rare disease called Maple Syrup Urine Disease. Following her diagnosis, Rosie has received two liver transplants in the span of three years at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Her first transplant happened when she was only nine months old. However due to complications the transplant was not effective. Her family relocated to Pittsburgh and waited two years for a suitable liver to become available. Rosie’s long – term prognosis is excellent. She will be closely monitored by her transplant team for the rest of her life.

P&G is playing in honor of Rosie.

Ryan Morales

Cystic Fibrosis

Ryan was 10 months old when he was taken to the doctor for unresolved pneumonia. His pediatrician referred Ryan and his family to Children’s National. Ryan was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a progressive genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe. Ryan has to endure breathing treatments, nebulizer medication and chest percussion therapy. Now at 14 years old, Ryan embraces his diagnosis and refuses to let it define him. He is an honor roll student and loves playing basketball. He also loves video games and being outdoors. Most importantly Ryan pushes himself to make the most out of each day.

SAS Retail Services is playing in honor of Ryan.


Shawn Staneruck

Brain Cancer

When Shawn was six years old he began vomiting in irregular patterns. Shawn’s pediatrician sent his family to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s emergency room. He was then admitted to the hospital. Over the next four days doctors were unable to determine the cause of his illness. Shawn spent the next six months in and out of the hospital searching for answers as he was becoming progressively worse. Shawn was diagnosed with brain cancer. Shawn underwent weeks of proton therapy and four rounds of chemotherapy. During treatment Shawn’s outlook on life grew increasingly positive. Shawn is now ten years old. He is active in Boy Scouts and loves math. He still spends lots of time at CHOP and is proud to be involved in research projects that will help other kids.

Davidson Specialty Foods is playing in honor of Shawn.