Overcoming cleft lip and palate: Aiden finds his smiley sense of humor

  • Aiden's cleft lip and palate journey

As they anxiously awaited the results of an 18-week ultrasound, Bonnie and Adam knew something wasn’t right. “We have a 4-year-old, Michael, and I never remembered having to wait after an ultrasound,” says Bonnie. “The longer we waited, the more I started panicking.” Sure enough, their suspicions were confirmed. The technician told the new parents that their baby, Aiden, would most likely have a cleft lip and cleft palate.

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Miranda Day: More than a diagnosis

Miranda Day, who had scoliosis and a tethered spinal cord, poses with her surgeon, Dr. John Emans
Miranda Day and Dr. John Emans (PHOTOS: SEBASTIAN STANKIEWICZ/BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL)

Miranda Day was born with a rare type of congenital scoliosis and a tethered spinal cord, a condition where the spine is split into two and entwined towards the tailbone. After her first surgery in her family’s home state of California, it became clear to doctors that it wouldn’t be her last. “Scoliosis isn’t life-threatening, but it can be a detriment to your well-being,” says Day. “My parents’ goal was to give me the best quality of life and not have any setbacks physically or otherwise.”

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Andrew’s story: Gold medalist kicks aerodigestive problems

With his asthma under control, Andrew holds the American flag after winning a gold medal
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE WARREN FAMILY

Last November, Andrew Warren stood on the podium in front of the American flag, grinning proudly as the medals around his neck glinted in the light. He had traveled to Orlando, Florida from his home in upstate New York to compete in the Karate and Kickboxing World Championships — and he delivered, taking home both a gold and a silver medal. It was an incredible accomplishment for a teenager once so ill that he made nearly three dozen visits to the emergency department before he was 6 years old.

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Keeping the bar high: Chasing adventure with cerebral palsy

Maggie has cerebral palsy — and a big smile
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE KING FAMILY

Maggie King is a thrill seeker: At 25, she’s been scuba diving, ridden in a hot air balloon, tackled every ride at Disney World multiple times and even flown to Los Angeles to attend the live finale for the 21st season of the TV show Survivor. “She’s all in, all the time,” says her mom, Dana.

It’s an attitude that Dana and her husband Dennis believe their daughter developed soon after birth, when an episode of anoxia, or severe oxygen deprivation, left her with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy (CP) and other medical concerns. “At first, we were petrified,” says Dana, who was a social worker at Maggie’s birth hospital at the time. “We never expected to be on the other side of things. It was like being in a giant fog.”

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