When Yalina was 12, doctors conducted LMNA genetic testing and discovered a rare genetic mutation causing Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy. This mutation affects one person in 500,000 and most commonly men. In 2018, a spinal fusion helped connect vertebrae in Yalina's spine and treat her scoliosis.
Yalina has used her experience to become an advocate for other patients. In 2020, Yalina participated in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Week. Yalina and her family shared her health journey and Lurie Children’s role in providing Yalina with critical health care services. She also spoke about why the public and our elected leaders must invest in the future of kids like Yalina.
Lurie Children's is proud to honor Yalina with the 2021 Youth Leader Hope & Courage Award.
House Majority Leader Representative Greg Harris
Representative Harris has been a strong advocate of Lurie Children's mission. In the recent legislative session, Harris was a key ally in helping Lurie Children's access critical funding for COVID relief, telemedicine, and funding to help the children's mental health crisis.
During his time in office, Harris has advocated access to healthcare, increased mental health services, services for at-risk youth and protections for people with disabilities. Harris also continues to fight for protections for the LGBTQ community.
Lurie Children's is proud to honor Representative Greg Harris with the 2021 Government Leader Hope & Courage Award.
The Northwest Side Housing Center
The Northwest Side Housing Center was founded in 2003 to help families in Chicago's Belmont Cragin Community access critical resources to improve their economic wellbeing. Since that time, NWHC has expanded its services to neighboring communities. They have helped to keep families in their homes and have provided access to job training and employment opportunities.
Northwest Side Housing Center is a partner in Lurie Children's Healthy Communities initiative. Over the past year, Northwest Side Housing Services has partnered with Lurie Children's to bring vaccinations to Chicago Northwest Side residents. This effort has helped vaccinate some of Chicago's most at-risk communities.
Lurie Children's is proud to honor Northwest Side Housing Center with the 2021 Community Advocate Hope & Courage Award.