2020 Stroll for Strong Kids

Ethan and Ella's Army

Vahey Getz LLP walks for our associate Laura Vanderbrook and her two children, Ethan and Ella Hart. Ethan Hart, now 8 years old, was appropriately born at Strong Memorial Hospital on Valentine’s Day. He was born with a Congenital Heart Defect, specifically Transposition of the Great Arteries in which his aortic and pulmonary arties were reversed, causing a shortage of oxygen in his blood. After an immediate surgery hours after birth, Ethan remained in the PICU at Strong until he could undergo open heart surgery to correct the defect. At only 8 days old, Ethan’s heart went into cardiac arrest. The incredible team of doctors and nurses rushed into action and with defibrillation were able to resuscitate Ethan. A week later, Ethan underwent major open heart surgery. Today, Ethan is a happy and healthy 8 year old boy. He loves playing with his younger sister and older step-brother and step-sister. He’s great at math and is obsessed with The Titanic, which is why he wants to be an Oceanographer when he grows up.

At just two years old, Ella Hart started losing her gross motor skills. Running and jumping were impossible for her. Walking up stairs and even sitting became difficult and painful, despite physical therapy. After many consults with numerous specialists, Ella was seen by the Pediatric Rheumatology group at Strong Memorial Hospital. In 2017, Ella was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis. JDM is a very rare autoimmune disease that attacks and breaks down the skin and muscle cells. Ella was immediately admitted to Golisano’s Children’s Hospital to begin treatment. Three years later, Ella still receives monthly infusions of antibodies, but the disease is in remission with medication. Ella is now a sweet, silly and sassy 6 year old who loves making those around her laugh. She loves all things unicorn and wants to be a nurse that helps kids like her when she’s older.

Laura and our team at Vahey Getz are forever grateful to the staff at Strong Memorial Hospital! It is our mission to raise money for Strong to help them support other families in need like Laura’s.

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