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Monday, June 8, 2015

16-year-old Artist and Former Patient to Represent Thousands as 2015 New York State Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champion Ambassador


Andy LaGuardia
(914) 493-6532

Sharbari Bose Kamat
(914) 493-5412

Valhalla, NY – June 8, 2015 – Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center—the children’s hospital for the Hudson Valley and Fairfield County—is proud to announce that former patient Ryan Reyes, now in remission from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, has been named the 2015 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion for New York State.

As Champion, Ryan, 16, of Brooklyn, New York, will serve as an ambassador for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, the entire state, and all the children cared for by the 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across North America. Among Ryan’s duties as Champion will be to travel to Washington, D.C., this week where he and other state Champions will share their amazing stories with national lawmakers and public officials. Ryan will also participate in Children’s Miracle Network’s annual Momentum event at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida in February 2016. The Champions program, whose partners include Delta Airlines, Marriott International, and Chico’s FAS, Inc., brings attention to the lifesaving work performed at local children’s hospitals by honoring remarkable children like Ryan who have triumphed despite significant medical challenges.

Spirit of a Champion

An active and avid athlete, Ryan was diagnosed with cancer at age 13 in June 2013. He then went under the care of the Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplantation program at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Though he had never expressed a particular interest in drawing or painting, Ryan discovered his passion for art during his extensive chemotherapy treatments at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.

Working with the hospital’s board-certified art therapist, Ryan’s artistic talents blossomed. He was the winner of the 2014 White Cloud Tissue Box Design Contest and it was the art portfolio he created in therapy that secured his admission to the School of Art and Design in New York City. Ryan now spends his free time watching documentaries about his favorite artists including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Pablo Picasso, and has also had the opportunity to travel overseas to visit art museums. Today, Ryan continues exploring his passion for art by creating life-size murals with various kinds of media.

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 neonatal intensive care unit as well as its only pediatric transplant program, pediatric burn care and trauma services, and cardiac catheterization program. For more information, please visit westchestermedicalcenter.com/mfch or follow the hospital at facebook.com/MFCHatWMC or twitter.com/MFCHatWMC.

About Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, and charitable care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time through the charity’s Miracle Balloon icon. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why children’s hospitals need community support, and learn about your member hospital, at CMNhospitals.org and facebook.com/CMNHospitals.