From the year I was born, 1979, until 2005, I was a regular patient of Children's. I was diagnosed a few weeks after being born with Glycogen Storage Disease Type I, a genetic disease characterized by accumulation of glycogen in the liver and kidneys that can result in an enlarged liver and kidneys and growth retardation.
For 25 years, I was under the direct supervision of Dr. Joel Charrow and the Division of Genetics, Birth Defects and Metabolism. Dr. Charrow, along with my parents, helped get my blood sugar and levels stabilized so that I could be a normal child.
Each year I would make numerous trips to Children's whenever I was sick or had to take a series of tests to check my levels. At times, I visited the hospital enough that I considered the yellow 8th floor my second home. I remember thinking I was growing up when they moved me to the 9th floor with the other kids.
Children's was a place that I felt comfortable at and trusted their doctors. I can still remember spending hours during the day in the playroom with the child life specialists and the many hours eating in the cafeteria and snack shop. I knew that I had been a patient for far too many years when I can remember when the McDonalds was once the snack shop. I still tell the story that when I was a baby, Mr. Rogers visited Children's and came in to see me - still a highlight that I remember.
While I never liked having IVs and going to the dreaded treatment room, I cannot begin to express my gratitude to the men and women that run Children's because, without them, I would not be a successful trainer for Canon living in New York.
From a feeding tube when I was a toddler to my current medication of corn starch and Kool-Aid mix, Dr. Charrow did what was necessary to help me maintain a normal childhood and adulthood. With his help, I was able to go away to college, move out to New York City on my own, and I now am engaged to be married to a lovely woman. None of this would be possible without Dr. Charrow's expertise and guidance. He truly is an amazing doctor.
Thank you, Children's. I will never forget you and you will always be a part of my life. I'm honored that you would share my story because it means that 29 years of pain and gain was worth it if it helps other patients and families. My family expresses their deepest gratitude to you as well. And congratulations on the new building.