Helping your child understand puberty

We all remember the changes — and awkwardness — of puberty. But helping your child navigate puberty is a whole different matter. For answers, we turned to Boston Children’s Primary Care Alliance physician Caitlyn Hark, MD, at Framingham Pediatrics, and Frances Grimstad, MD, a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist in the Division of Gynecology at Boston ... Read More

No backing down: Sophia takes on a rare form of liver cancer

Sophia LaBorde is headstrong and “doesn’t back down,” says her mother, Alicia. So last year when Sophia had some gastrointestinal discomfort and a low appetite, she asked her parents to bring her to her local pediatrician. And when test after test ruled out more common culprits — lactose intolerance, heartburn, even thyroid disease — she ... Read More

Immune biomarkers predicted COVID-19 severity and could help in future pandemics

Why did some people fall critically ill from COVID-19 and others not? In May 2020, as COVID-19 swept the world, Boston Children’s Hospital helped launch a national, NIAID-funded study called IMPACC (IMmunoPhenotyping Assessment in a COVID-19 Cohort). Taking a “systems immunology” approach, the goal was to document the virus’s impact on the immune system in ... Read More

A ‘super’ new heart surgery for a super kid

When you’re the first person in the world to undergo a new type of heart surgery, you don’t have to use the procedure’s clinical name. You can give it any name you want, even your own. That’s what 7-year-old Easton Schlein’s family has done. While his Boston Children’s cardiac surgery team calls the groundbreaking procedure a “reverse ... Read More

On her own terms: Robot-assisted procedure gives Sage more independence

At 19, Sage Nault has had multiple surgeries, aimed at addressing challenges related to myelomeningocele, the most severe form of spina bifida. But it’s her most recent operation that might have the greatest impact on her quality of life. Known as a Mitrofanoff appendicovesicostomy and a Malone antegrade continence enema (MACE), the combined procedure has ... Read More

Making autism evaluations accessible: Boston Children’s tests virtual options

Many obstacles can delay a diagnosis of autism in children, including language barriers, waiting lists for evaluation, and access to care. At Boston Children’s Hospital, pediatrician Corinna Rea, MD, MPH, and her research team at Boston Children’s Primary Care are re-thinking the autism evaluation process to improve patient care. How the pandemic influenced a new ... Read More

Advancing mother-child health globally: Grace Chan MD, MPH, PhD

First in an ongoing series profiling researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital. Globally, five million children die annually before the age of 5. Forty percent of these deaths are in the first month — and many are preventable. Grace Chan, MD, MPH, PhD, finds these numbers unacceptable. They contrast starkly with U.S. medicine, including at Boston ... Read More

A cerebral palsy journey lands in Boston: Ashlyn’s hip surgery

Eleven-year-old Ashlyn’s parents describe her as spicy, strong willed, and determined. Those qualities have served her well through a medical journey that started soon after she was born with cerebral palsy (CP). Ashlyn has had multiple operations to manage the symptoms of CP, but when it came to the question of hip surgery, her parents ... Read More

Changing the world: Baby Denver leads the way after first-of-its-kind procedure for VOGM

Denver Coleman is less than 2 months old, but she’s already helped blaze a trail for other children and families, a feat she accomplished before she was even born. Denver, who was diagnosed with a vein of Galen malformation — a type of rare blood vessel abnormality inside the brain — in utero, is the ... Read More

One athlete, two hip surgeries, three Ironmans

Trevor Spence grew up playing just about every sport he could. When he was 3, he laced up his first pair of hockey skates. When he was 10, he medaled in the Junior Olympics 1500-meter Track and Field event. Throughout middle and high school, he travelled to tournaments for hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. “I did ... Read More

Inspired by her daughter, one mom helps families navigate complex epilepsy

Colleen Gagnon felt something wasn’t right soon after her daughter Niamh was born but tried to convince herself she was just overthinking. Fighting her instincts as a nurse and second-time mom, Colleen tried to link the dimple in Niamh’s forehead and darting eye movements to her being born six weeks early. But an eye doctor’s ... Read More