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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Former Pediatric Patients to Lead Thousands as Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Ambassadors at the Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day

Meet our Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day Ambassadors!

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VALHALLA, N.Y. (April 4, 2017) – Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) and the children’s hospital for the Hudson Valley and Fairfield County, recently named three inspiring former patients – Kaylee Fried, 7, Zechia Mickler, 6, and Tyrus Castrovinci, 6 – as ambassadors for the 13th annual Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day, representing the pediatric patients cared for at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. The annual event benefits Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and celebrates the health and fortitude of its remarkable patients.

Held this year on May 7, the event is Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s largest annual fundraiser and draws thousands of former patients, families, staff, and supportive community members from around the region. Following a casual one-mile walk around the hospital’s campus – the event’s signature processional led by the ambassadors – participants will enjoy a morning filled with fun activities for the whole family.

In past years, the Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day has featured a single Grand Marshal; this year, three very special patients will lead the crowd as ambassadors.

Meet the 2017 Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day Ambassadors

Kaylee Fried, 7, of Harriman, was born at Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of the WMCHealth, seemingly healthy at only 36 weeks. After a few short hours of observation, she was diagnosed with a rare birth defect in which her stomach and esophagus were not connected. She was transferred to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, where surgery was performed to repair the defect. After less than one month of recovery and a small amount of follow-up care over the first few years, Kaylee is doing great, and is now a healthy 7-year-old second grader at Pine Tree Elementary School in Monroe.

Kaylee’s fundraising team, HarperSmiles, will participate in this year’s event in memory of her little sister, Harper, and in honor of the more than 20,000 children cared for each year by the pediatric services offered at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.

Zechia Mickler, 5, of Beacon, was diagnosed with a life-threatening diaphragmatic hernia at age 1, when she was rushed to Maria Fareri Children’s ospital in respiratory distress. Because of the hernia, her lower abdominal organs moved into her chest and doctors at the Children’s Hospital used minimally invasive techniques to correct the organs’ location. Zechia recovered quickly and thanks to the advanced care she received, is now a healthy 6-year-old in the first grade at J.V. Forrestal Elementary School in Beacon. Zechia loves to dance and is a fixture at Children’s Hospital events. Her team is Zechia’s Breath-Takerz.

Tyrus Castrovinci, 6, of the Bronx, was diagnosed with a multitude of heart problems – including a hole between his right and left ventricle and a narrowing of a pulmonary valve – before he was even born. Following an angiogram at just three months old and a full-blown open-heart surgery at six months, Tyrus has never looked back. Now a 6-year-old kindergartener at P.S. 71 in the Bronx, Tyrus loves baseball, karate and soccer, and he even started his own YouTube channel recently.Ty’s Heartbeats are his team.

Each of this year’s ambassadors will be officially appointed during ceremonies at their respective schools. At each ceremony, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital leadership will present the ambassadors with specially-tailored sashes in front of school administrators, teachers, family members and fellow classmates.

Kaylee’s appointment ceremony will take place April 6 at 11:15 a.m. at Pine Tree Elementary School in Monroe. Zechia will be honored April 7 at J.V. Forrestal Elementary School in Beacon at 2:00 p.m. Tyrus’ appointment ceremony will occur later this month.

Interested parties can register and learn more about the Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day, including how participants can support advanced pediatric healthcare in the region, by visiting www.westchestermedicalcenter.com/walk. Participants can stay up-to-date on event news and share their event-day experiences via social media by using the hashtag #GoTheDistance.

About Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is the children’s hospital for New York’s Hudson Valley region and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Located in Valhalla, NY, this 136-bed advanced pediatrics facility cares for the region’s most seriously ill and injured children including those in need of cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, hematology and oncology treatments, organ transplants and other specialty pediatric services. Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is also home to the area’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Level I pediatric trauma and burn care programs and its Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. For more information on Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, interested parties can visit www.WestchesterMedicalCenter.org/MFCH or follow the hospital at www.Facebook.com/MFCHatWMC and www.Twitter.com/MFCHatWMC.

About Westchester Medical Center Health Network

The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is a 1,700-bed healthcare system headquartered in Valhalla, New York, with 10 hospitals on eight campuses spanning 6,200 square miles of the Hudson Valley. WMCHealth employs more than 12,000 people and has nearly 3,000 attending physicians. From Level 1, Level 2 and Pediatric Trauma Centers, the region’s only acute care children’s hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals, dozens of specialized institutes and centers, skilled nursing, assisted living facilities, homecare services and one of the largest mental health systems in New York State, today WMCHealth is the pre-eminent provider of integrated healthcare in the Hudson Valley. For more information about WMCHealth, visit www.WMCHealth.org.