Author: Chris Anselmo

Martha Eliot Health Center: Teaching youth to be community leaders

Students from the Martha Eliot Health Center pose in front of the mural they created.

When the students of the Mildred C. Hailey Youth Community Leadership Institute at Martha Eliot Health Center learned they were going to be painting a mural, they were initially intimidated.

“Some were thinking ‘I can’t draw!’ or ‘I don’t know if I can do this,” says Alysha Noel, community resource coordinator at Martha Eliot and co-facilitator of the institute, along with Samantha Montaño from the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC). But, after working with a local artist to brainstorm ideas and practice, the youth quickly gained confidence. “After drawing their section on the wall, they were like ‘OK, I’m ready to draw something else now,’” says Noel with a laugh. “It was great to see them take initiative and control over the project.”

Read Full Story

Love and gratitude at the center of Evvie’s cleft lip and palate journey

Evvie was born with a cleft lip and palate

When Andrew and Karen Wu moved from their home in Manhattan to Manchester, New Hampshire, they were thrilled to be in closer proximity to Boston Children’s Hospital for their eldest daughter’s care. However, they had no idea just how fortuitous their decision would be until a few years later.

Read Full Story

Dodging a bullet: Lukas’ diagnosis uncovers his family’s predisposition to cancer

Boy with polyposis smiles with family
Lukas and his family

From a young age, Lukas Quinn’s life has centered around sports — playing them, following them and rooting for his favorite teams, the New York Giants and Syracuse University athletics. “He’s a real sports nut,” his mother Juli says with a laugh.

For the first seven years of his life, Lukas was a bundle of energy, active and playing sports without any health issues. So when Juli received a phone call from Lukas’s summer camp, explaining that he was locked in a bathroom with severe gastrointestinal issues, she was worried. “Lukas would not come out of the bathroom until I got there,” says Juli. “It was scary to see him in such distress.”

Little did the Quinns know that Lukas would soon be diagnosed with a medical condition that made him predisposed to develop cancer. And after a series of genetic tests, they would learn that his father and sister had the same condition.

Read Full Story