Derek isn’t your typical teenager. He stands up for those being bullied, believing people should embrace all that makes them unique. He assumes if someone isn’t nice, they may just be having a bad day, and makes it his mission to be kind to everyone. At age 15, Derek was diagnosed with an ependymoma brain tumor resulting in difficulties breathing and swallowing. He needed to have a long-term tracheotomy and G-tube inserted so he could breathe easier and receive nutrition directly to his stomach. He underwent surgery and cranial radiation therapies, and now needs speech and motor skill rehabilitation. Derek says the care he received at his Children’s Miracle Network hospital saved his life. He recognizes the kindness of all his doctors and nurses, only wishing he’d experienced it with a broken arm instead of cancer. Derek’s journey gave him a new outlook on life and he’s learned not to take anything for granted.
Funds In Action
Funds raised through Children’s Miracle Network helped provide the specialized equipment and personnel needed to save Derek’s life.