A Bright Future: Pacer’s Story

There’s no shortage of cool patients in these parts, and I just met another who has CHOC to thank for a bright future.

Pacer’s first family meal didn’t happen until he was 4 years old. Until then, he ate through a feeding tube, never experiencing a Thanksgiving feast, Halloween candy or birthday cake. But thanks to his commitment and five weeks of treatment at CHOC’s Multidisciplinary Feeding Program, Pacer learned to eat, and now he can down more chicken fingers than this always hungry bear!

Meet Pacer in this video, and hear from his parents, Quinn and Mekell, about why they traveled all the way from Montana to Orange County to get Pacer the treatment he needed to ensure a bright future.

More stories about CHOC patients:

  • CHOC Patient Inspired to Become CHOC Doc
    At 6 years old, Vanessa Avina was more interested in viewing the monitor for her echocardiography (heart ultrasound) than watching a cartoon during her doctor’s visits. Her CHOC pediatric cardiologist ...
  • CHOC Walk in the Park: Justin’s Helpers
    As it celebrates its 25th anniversary, CHOC “Walk in the Park” has raised more than $24 million to fund education, research and adoption and utilization of the latest technologies to ...
  • A Bright Future: Ian and Micah’s Story
    Even though I’ve been hanging around CHOC for a long time now, I am continually surprised by the courage, tenacity and strength of the patients I meet. It’s especially gratifying ...

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is nearing, and I love this time of year. Can you tell by the heart I wear every day? I don’t want to brag, but I have so many valentines: all the patients, physicians and staff I’ve met in the last 50 years at CHOC Children’s.

It’s easy to find valentines when you meet so many neat people. I love taking pictures with my friends, and I wanted to show you some that I’ve collected through the years. Do you have any pictures with me? Show me by posting on social media with the hashtag #thxCHOC.

Meet CHOC’s first patient, Ken Spicer

Of all the people I’ve met since I first visited CHOC Children’s almost 50 years ago, Ken Spicer is one of my favorites. After all, he is CHOC’s very first patient!

Ken and I go way back: He was first admitted to CHOC on Oct. 5, 1964 at age 12 because of a birth defect in his legs, and he remains a steadfast advocate CHOC almost 50 years later. Best of all, he and I are still friends.

In this video, Ken reflects on his experience at CHOC and how his time at Orange County’s only children’s hospital helped him build a bright future.

More stories about CHOC patients:

  • CHOC Patient Inspired to Become CHOC Doc
    At 6 years old, Vanessa Avina was more interested in viewing the monitor for her echocardiography (heart ultrasound) than watching a cartoon during her doctor’s visits. Her CHOC pediatric cardiologist ...
  • CHOC Walk in the Park: Justin’s Helpers
    As it celebrates its 25th anniversary, CHOC “Walk in the Park” has raised more than $24 million to fund education, research and adoption and utilization of the latest technologies to ...
  • A Bright Future: Ian and Micah’s Story
    Even though I’ve been hanging around CHOC for a long time now, I am continually surprised by the courage, tenacity and strength of the patients I meet. It’s especially gratifying ...

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2014! I think it’s going to be a bright year for us all.NewYear

2014 is especially important at CHOC Children’s because this year marks the hospital’s 50th anniversary! I can’t wait to help the hospital celebrate a half century of caring for kids. Stay tuned for a whole lot of fun this year.

But first, let’s get down to business: It wouldn’t be New Year’s Day without some resolutions.  Mine is the same as it’s been every year since New Year’s Day 1965: Do not fall out of any trees.

What’s your New Year’s resolution? Tell me in the comments, or let us know on social media with the hashtag #thxCHOC.

Harley Ride Makes Holidays Bright for CHOC Patients

Merry Christmas!IMG_2217

Today will be so much brighter for CHOC Children’s patients who are celebrating from inside the hospital.

Earlier this week, hordes of Harley riders descended upon the hospital to deliver truckloads of new toys for patients. The Orange Coast Harley Owners Group organized the massive toy distribution. Their kindness – and the noise from all those motorcycles – gave me chills!

This wasn’t my first time at the Harley Ride. I was lucky to participate in the drive a few years ago – check out the vintage picture below. Once a longtime tradition at CHOC, the ride took a hiatus for a few years bHarley Rideecause of the Bill Holmes Tower construction. But this year, it’s back and better than ever!

CHOC staff are so appreciative of generous community members who help ensure patients don’t miss chances for fun – especially during the winter holidays. CHOC wants kids to feel like kids, even when hospitalized, and the kindness of the Orange Coast Harley Owners Group and Orange County Harley-Davidson helps the hospital achieve that goal.

On behalf of CHOC, I thank these groups for working so hard to ensure patients have a happy holiday season – and I wish you and your family cheer and good tidings.