Stories about: Dr. James Kasser

Giving thanks: Stories of volunteerism, gratitude and giving back

Thanksgiving Day is a time rich in family, gratitude and appreciation. In honor of the holiday, we are celebrating the patient families who have traveled through our doors and the selfless acts of kindness and volunteerism that follow.

Donating platelets and cycling for a cause

Ten years ago, Adam Nussenbaum’s son, Max, was treated at Boston Children’s and overcame a life threatening illness. Today, Adam gives his time — and platelets — to help those in need, and he is doing so in celebration of Max; his daughter Kate, who donated her bone marrow to help her brother; and the clinicians, who made his son’s recovery possible.

Shari Abramowitz, Max, Kate and Adam Nussenbaum
Shari Abramowitz, Adam, Kate, and Max Nussenbaum

For the past eight years, Adam has participated in the Pan Mass Challenge and raised over $55,000 to benefit the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Center at Boston Children’s. He also donates platelets on a monthly basis.

“It has been immensely gratifying to know that I have and will continue to play a small role in helping patients like Max on their road to recovery,” he says.

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George the unstoppable conquers leg-length discrepancy

After limb lengthening surgery

I stand here today with two legs the same length, thanks to Dr. Kasser, but I am grateful to him for so much more. People tell me all the time that I have a positive attitude. Perhaps that’s because, thanks to Dr. Kasser, I believe that anything is possible.

George Davies, a senior at Bancroft School in Worcester, Massachusetts, faces every challenge, every obstacle and every situation with a sense of what’s possible. He rows varsity crew, plays the electric guitar, and after two years of independent research he’s off to Scotland’s University of St Andrews to study biochemistry.

Dr. James Kasser, Boston Children’s Hospital’s surgeon-in-chief, diagnosed George when he was 3 months old with Fibular Hemimelia, a rare genetic absence of the fibular bone and a condition which results in the affected leg growing at a slower rate than normal. Without treatment, George’s right leg would have been six inches shorter than his left.

His parents had two options: amputate George’s foot and have him fitted with a series of prostheses throughout his life or sign him up for a series of limb-lengthening operations.

Jen and Paul Davies did their homework. They spoke with other families whose children had undergone leg-lengthening operations. “The apparatus is dramatic and scary looking, but the kids seemed fine. We decided it was the best option for George,” recalls Jen. The Davies family opted for a series of limb-lengthening surgeries with Kasser.

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