Children's Health

Radiothon Benefits Children and Families

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital will host its 9th annual radiothon December 17’to 19, 2008. The community is invited to tune in to STAR 105.7 or stop by Celebration! Cinema South (1506 Eastport Drive, Grand Rapids) from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to pledge financial support. Gifts are also accepted by calling 877-953-KIDS or (616) 391-2999 to the phone bank staffed by volunteers. All funds raised will benefit vital programs and services at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital such as child life and pastoral care.

Hosted by Tommy and Brook from STAR 105.7, the event will feature live interviews with families and pediatric specialists. In addition, the broadcast will include five stories of hope and inspiration from the following patients:

Daniel Ferguson of Grand Rapids
Daniel sees multiple specialists at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. His primary health challenge stems from prune belly syndrome. A rare and congenital birth defect, 96 percent of those affected are male. The syndrome is named for the mass of wrinkled skin often present on the abdomens of those with the disorder. Symptoms include minimal abdominal muscles, frequent urinary tract infections and large ureters.

Colin Horling of Grand Rapids
Born with Down syndrome, Colin was a happy child until age two when he started refusing to eat. A year of therapy and countless tests revealed no medial reason why Colin shouldn’t be eating. After nearly two years of frustration, Colin’s family turned to the intensive feeding program at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Colin entered the program eating just three foods in puree form and two beverages. After treatment, he eats nearly 30 foods including those with texture and chewable solids. The program gave dinner time a whole new meaning for the Horling family.

Tyler, Maryn and Ellery Lopez of Grand Rapids
Jennifer and Michael Lopez’s triplets spent the first three months of their lives in the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit. Born premature, they had a rough start to life. Thanks to the care of the neonatal intensive care unit specialists, early intervention from the neurodevelopmental pediatricians and cognitive follow-up with psychologist specialists, Tyler, Mary and Ellery are tackling life with no major growth or developmental effects from prematurity.

Mallory Meyers of Cadillac
Eleven-year-old Mallory experienced low back pain and sporadic fever in October 2007. Her local physicians diagnosed her with a viral illness. She continued to feel ill and was transferred to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital where pediatric specialists diagnosed bacterial endocarditis. The condition was limiting heart function and essentially dissolving the tricuspid heart valve. Mallory underwent open heart surgery to repair the valve and physicians removed a large, fluid-filled mass. She is now a happy, healthy 6th grader thanks to the care of cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Elizabeth Williams of Wasilla, Alaska
Elizabeth was born 14 weeks premature and developed short gut syndrome. This is a condition in which portions of the small bowel must be removed. Elizabeth received care from pediatric gastroenterology specialists for the next 17 years of her life. Her family recently left Michigan and wanted to remain under the care of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital specialists. She travels to Grand Rapids as needed for follow-up care.

Snowmen icons are available throughout West Michigan for those unable to pledge their support during the radiothon. Community members can purchase an icon for just $1 and all proceeds will benefit Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. The snowmen are available at the following locations:

Brann’s Steakhouse & Grille

  • 4157 South Division, Wyoming
  • 401 Leonard, Grand Rapids
  • 12234 James Street, Holland
  • 3475 Fairlanes, Grandville
  • 5510 28th Street, Grand Rapids
  • 700 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Portage
  • 5510 Harvey Street., Muskegon

Bagel Beanery

  • 455 Michigan Street, Grand Rapids
  • 2845 Breton Road, Grand Rapids

McDonald’s/Wiseman LLC

  • 2824 28th St SE, Kentwood
  • 6095 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Grand Rapids
  • 1700 44th Street, Kentwood
  • 9383 Cherry Valley, Caledonia

Big Apple Bagels

  • 6670 Kalamazoo Avenue, Grand Rapids

Maggie Moo’s

  • 6155 Kalamazoo Avenue, Grand Rapids

Kregel Parable Christian Stores

  • 2830 E. Beltline, Grand Rapids
  • 6333 Kalamazoo, Kentwood
  • 4014 Chicago Drive, Grandville

Additional opportunities to support the radiothon include purchasing a cup of coffee at Bagel Beanery through December 19 or having dinner at Brann’s Steakhouse and Grille on Leonard on December 16 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. A portion of proceeds from each promotion will be donated to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Sponsors of the radiothon include:

  • Meijer
  • Michigan Office Solutions
  • Foresters – Life insurance is what we do. Helping children is who we are.

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is West Michigan’s largest children’s hospital, serving children and families throughout a 37-county region. A teaching hospital, it includes more than 150 pediatric specialty physicians uniquely skilled in providing medical and surgical care to children in more than 40 pediatric specialties. The hospital cares for more than 7,600 inpatients and 190,000 outpatients annually. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is committed to caring for children and families with compassion, excellence and innovation.’ Visit for more information.