"Eight-year-old David Youngerman leads a happy, healthy life. According to his mom, Michelle Marengo, he likes everything from soccer to snow skiing, drawing to traveling (he just got a passport). He's a busy young man, but he still finds time to participate in Children's Hospital Boston's annual pledge walk. This year's pledge walk is Sunday, June 11, on the Charles River.
David's commitment to the hospital is highly personal. Children's diagnosed him with Moyamoya—a rare cerebrovascular disease caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain. It revealed itself one sunny September day in 2003, when David's left arm suddenly went numb in the car after soccer practice.
Michelle remembers: "I could see him slumping to one side. Then his speech began to slur, and I checked the rearview mirror again and his mouth was drooping on the left side." David was having a small stroke.
A series of tests found nothing wrong, but David's pediatrician referred him to Children's, where his case fell into the capable hands of Neurosurgeon-in-Chief Michael Scott, MD. Amazingly, Scott was one of only two doctors in the country who could perform the eight-hour brain surgery that saved David's life.
Since then, David has visited Children's twice for annual check-ups and is doing so well that Scott recently told him he'll only need a check-up every other year.
David and his mom both know that innovative, life-saving care comes at a cost and that philanthropy can make miracles happen. "David sure understands what happens at hospitals and why kids need them so badly," says Michelle about her son's energy for fundraising.
This year they'll participate in their third consecutive Miles for Miracles walk. Walkers are asked to raise at least $100 to benefit the hospital, but last year David and Michelle raised $1,000. This year they're aiming for $1,200. David's also working to recruit other walkers—his whole class, in fact. He's hoping his flyer and the letter he asked his teacher to write will inspire them to join him.
Join David and Michelle at the walk this year! It's a day of fun to benefit
Children's. To learn more or register online, visit www.childenshospital.org/walk or call (617) 355-6666.