Family Advocacy Days 2013
No one can tell the stories of children's hospitals better than the individuals most touched by their presence. Every year, the National Association Children's Hospitals hosts two advocacy days in Washington, D.C. Advocacy Day programs feature educational briefings, remarks from lawmakers and Washington insiders, and opportunities to network with colleagues.
2013 Children's Hospital Association's Family Advocacy Day, June 19-20
This year, Antonio Rieder, age 10, from Madison, Wis., and his family, joined 30 other patients and families from children's hospitals across the country to speak with members of Congress during the Children's Hospital Association's Speak Now for Kids Advocacy Day. They talked about the lifesaving specialty medical care they have needed and how the current budget debate needs to include protections for these services and access to care.
The Rieder family knows firsthand the value of quality pediatric care. When Antonio was six-years old, he was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia, an acquired bone marrow failure. His immune system was attacking his bone marrow.
He was admitted to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee on October 15, 2010, to receive the life-saving treatment he needed. The Rieders were referred to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's Blood and Marrow Transplant Program in Milwaukee because it was one of the pioneers in pediatric bone marrow transplantation, with the first transplant performed in 1980. The program is one of the largest in the U.S. utilizing unrelated individuals or mismatched family members as donors. David Margolis, MD, medical director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Children's Hospital was Antonio's doctor.
Because a suitable bone marrow match wasn't' found, he received a blood cord transplant. Unfortunately, Antonio's body rejected the first transplant and two months later, after chemo and radiation, he received a second transplant.
After ninety days in the hospital, Antonio went home to Madison, Wis. with a new chance at life. Today, his Severe Aplastic Anemia is gone, and his family, including his parents and three sisters, is committed to raising awareness of the need for bone marrow donors so that other people in similar situations find the matches they need.
|The Rieder family arrives in Washington, D.C.||Tony and his sisters found time to relax between Hill visits.|
|Senator Tammy Baldwin welcomes the Rieder family to Washington, D.C.||Tony, along with his family, presented Rep. Mark Pocan with a plaque from Children's Hospital thanking him for his support.|
|Legislative Director to Rep. Gwen Moore greets the Rieder family.||Rep. Reid Ribble takes Rieder family on tour of the Capitol.|
|All Stars at the Family Briefing and Reception.|
Learn more about the families that participated in Advocacy Days: