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Fourth-Grader Bravely Battling Sickle Cell Disease Named Grand Marshal
03/24/2014

Contact:
Andy LaGuardia
914-493-6532
laguardiaa@wcmc.com

Highlights:
• Dream Shepherd, 9, of Ossining, NY, has been named Grand Marshal of the 10th Annual Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center. Dream has been a patient of the Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation service of Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.
• Dream’s official Grand Marshal appointment ceremony will occur Monday, March 24, at 10 a.m. in front of teachers, administrators and more than 100 fellow students at Claremont Elementary School in Ossining. 
• The Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day (#GoTheDistance) includes a casual one-mile walk and a host of family activities. Thousands of supporters from across the region regularly participate. This year’s event will occur Sunday, May 4.

Valhalla, New York, March 24, 2014 – Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, the children’s hospital for the Hudson Valley and Fairfield County, has named Dream Shepherd, 9, of Ossining, New York, as the Grand Marshal of the 10th Annual Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day. The event, which includes a casual, one-mile walk and a host of family activities, is the biggest fundraiser for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, which cares for the region’s most seriously ill and injured children. This year’s Go the Distance Walk & Family Fun Day will occur Sunday, May 4.

The Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day draws former patients, their families, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital staff and supportive community members from around the region. As the event’s Grand Marshal, Dream will lead thousands of participants around the Westchester Medical Center campus during the event’s signature procession.

This year’s Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day also serves as the kickoff to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s 10th birthday celebration.  To commemorate the occasion, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital has invited the event’s nine previous Grand Marshals to participate in a special ceremony that will occur just prior to the scheduled walk around the campus.

Dream’s Determination
Dream was born with sickle cell disease and has battled a host of complications including recurring pain crisis and a stroke when she was just five years-old. Despite her challenges Dream is an active student, Girl Scout, artist and musician. Dream’s determination and spirit never wane and as the Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day Grand Marshal, Dream will represent the thousands of local children cared for each year by Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center.

Dream’s official appointment ceremony will occur Monday, March 24 at 10 a.m. at Claremont Elementary School in Ossining, New York. Then, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s Physician-in-Chief, Michael Gewitz, M.D., will present Dream with a specially-tailored Grand Marshal sash.  The ceremony will occur in front of school administrators, Dream’s teachers and more than 100 of her fellow students.

To learn more about the Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day, including how participants can support advanced children’s healthcare in the region, interested parties are encouraged to visit www.westchestermedicalcenter.com/walk.  Participants and others can stay up-to-date on event news and share their event-day experiences via social media by using the tag #GoTheDistance.

Caring for Children with Sickle Cell Disease
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center has a nationally recognized clinical program for children, adolescents and young adults with sickle cell disease‎. State-of-the-art treatment programs for patients with sickle cell disease at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital include New York State newborn screening; low-intensity sibling bone marrow transplants; parenteral and unrelated donor bone marrow transplants; hypertransfusion of red blood cells and unique methods of iron chelation, red cell pheresis and novel pain management treatment regimens.

About Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center is the children’s hospital for New York’s Hudson Valley region and Fairfield County, Connecticut. The hospital is home to the region’s only pediatric intensive care unit and its regional neonatal intensive care unit as well as its only pediatric transplant program, pediatric burn care and trauma services and cardiac catheterization program. 

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