Skip to main content

After Overcoming Serious Illnesses and Injuries, Nine Children’s Hospital Champion Ambassadors Gathered for Special Reunion

To shine a light on the importance of children’s hospitals and donations to provide children with the best care, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, participated in the second annual #ChildrensHospitalsWeek from March 5-11. Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is one of 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across North America that participated in the week-long initiative to raise funds and awareness for local children’s hospitals.

In honor of #ChildrensHospitalsWeek, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital hosted a Champions Reunion on March 5th, bringing together nine pediatric patients who were chosen by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to act as ambassadors, representing the state of New York and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital following their care. Patient families, medical staff, hospital administration and community partners gathered to celebrate their perseverance, health and happiness.

Selected as this year’s Champions, representing Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, are Eli and Shane Williams, of Woodbourne, NY. Eli, 6, and Shane, 13, were treated for third-degree burns, fractures, and other serious injuries following an off-road vehicle accident in 2016. They were formally appointed as the 2018 Champions at Monday’s reunion in recognition of their bravery. Previous Champions who attended and received proclamations from Westchester County Executive George Latimer, as well as Certificates of Merit from Westchester County Legislator Margaret Cunzio, are:

Ryan Reyes, 18, Brooklyn, NY – Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivor, 2015 Champion
Sophia Mercado, 15, Walden, NY – Arteriovenous Malformation and Epilepsy Survivor, 2014 Champion
Tyler Mejorado, 18, Fishkill, NY – Cirrhosis of the Liver Survivor and Liver Transplant Recipient, 2012 Champion
Frankie Flora, 13, Poughkeepsie, NY – Dog Attack Survivor, 2010 Champion
Jason and Johnson Varghese, 24, Bronx, NY – Wilson’s Disease Survivors and Liver Transplant Recipient, 2006 Champion
Samantha White, 22, Monroe, NY – Congenital Heart Defect Survivor, 2005 Champion

“The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champions program has allowed our hospital to honor the courage of our pediatric patients in the face of significant medical challenges, and to highlight the skilled and personalized care our expert physicians and nurses have given to these children and their families throughout the years,” said Michael H. Gewitz, MD, William Russell McCurdy Physician-in-Chief and Chief, Pediatric Cardiology, at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. “We are proud to share our Champions’ success stories during #ChildrensHospitalsWeek and be a part of their continued health.”

To read our Champions’ stories, visit us on Facebook or stayed tuned!