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2021 Coin Toss Kid
For over 20 years, the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana University Health have partnered to change the lives of pediatric patients in a fun and exciting way: the Riley Children's Health Coin Toss Kid program. Before every home game, a patient from Riley Children's at IU Health is honored bybeing included in the official coin toss prior to the start of the game.
1.2 CTK | Griffyn Moore
Griffyn Moore is 13-years-old and from Anderson, Indiana. Griffyn's journey with Riley Hospital for Children began in the summer of 2019 when he was diagnosed with Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a rare disease that affects the filters in your kidneys. Just this year his condition rapidly progressed causing him to require dialysis until he becomes eligible for a kidney transplant. He quickly became the true definition of a Riley kid and we are so thankful for our whole medical team at Riley.
Griffyn loves everything sports, especially football. When Griffyn feels well enough, you can find him shooting hoops, throwing the football or playing baseball. He also loves playing video games and spending time with his family.
12.18 CTK | Elliot Preddie
Elliot Preddie is an active 13-year-old from Indianapolis. Elliot was just six months old when he made his first visit to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health to treat symptoms of sickle cell disease. His disease progressed to the point where he needed monthly blood transfusions by the time he was six years old. Elliot also required neurosurgery for Moyamoya, a rare disorder caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain. Ultimately, Elliot underwent a stem cell transplant in 2019 and spent 37 days in the hospital and another eight months in isolation to recover. After the transplant, tests showed his bone marrow grew back 100 percent free of sickle cell. Now a student at Perry Meridian Middle School, Elliot loves swimming, is an accomplished Taekwondo athlete, and is looking to pick up soccer. He was recently selected as a 2022 Riley Champion.
11.28 CTK | George Smith III
17-year-old George Smith III lives in Indianapolis, Indiana and is a junior in high school. George enjoys football and basketball, loves video games and likes hosting family game night with his extended family. He has a big smile and an even bigger heart and is known to all as a peacemaker.
In February 2020, complaints of back pain for prompted his to mom to take George to the Emergency Department at Riley Hospital for Children. Upon arriving, he was admitted for immediate care and before George could settle into his room, he collapsed. George had fluid removed from his lungs ultimately causing him to have a partially paralyzed diaphragm. He was treated for pneumonia symptoms, but later tests confirmed it was COVID-19.
In an unrelated case, 9 months later, George was back at Riley with swollen arms and loss of vision in his left eye. He was admitted immediately and after testing, George was diagnosed Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia in Blast Crisis. CML is a slowly progressing blood and bone marrow disease in which the bone marrow makes too many white blood cells.
Upon this diagnosis, Dr. Emily Mueller, Dr. Gerald Hills and other members of hematology and oncology department at Riley, began George's treatment immediately.
In August of 2021, George received a half match Stem Cell Transplant from his big brother. Following a 4 week stay at the hospital, George was released to convalesce at home.
George has had quite the journey and it continues with weekly appointments with his Riley physicians and a wide array of medications. George and his family pray the cancer will never return.
11.14 CTK | Corbin Sytsma
Corbin Sytsma is 5 years old and lives in Jasper County, IN. He is a happy, high-energy kid that loves the outdoors and his family, especially his sister. You can always find him playing with dinosaurs, dancing and opening Ryan's World surprises.
In September of 2020, Corbin developed a limp during his fall soccer season. With some rest and relaxation, the limp went away and he returned to normal activities. In November of 2020, the limp returned. Tests were performed to determine the cause and it was suspected to be an orthopedic issue but during a bone scan, an incidental finding of an enlarged kidney was discovered. Following an ultrasound of his kidney, Corbin was sent sent straight to the Emergency Room at Riley Hospital for Children. Here, they discovered a large tumor in his abdomen.
Following 4 rounds of chemotherapy to shrink the size of the tumor, the physicians at Riley removed the tumor. After the tumor was removed, Corbin underwent another round of chemotherapy before beginning rounds of chemotherapy with antibody treatment.
Corbin is currently receiving treatments at Riley and still has a long road ahead of him. Corbin has been a very brave and strong boy throughout this journey. With prayers and support of friends, family and the community, he keeps a positive attitude and takes things one step at a time.
November 4 | Brenna Blosser
Brenna Blosser is a determined 17-year-old from Plymouth, Ind. When Brenna was 13 months old, an unknown virus attacked her heart, seriously impacting her organ function and causing blood clots to form throughout her body. Doctors determined that her best chance for survival was a helicopter flight to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. Ultimately, Riley physicians performed a first-of-its-kind procedure to break up a dangerous blood clot in her femoral artery. Brenna went from waiting on the heart transplant list to regaining normal heart function. The clots had also stopped circulation to her left leg, and Brenna eventually decided to undergo an amputation to gain improved mobility. Today she uses a prosthetic leg and enjoys sharing her story to motivate others with disabilities. Brenna is a straight-A student and manager of Plymouth High School's football team. She is an avid Riley Dance Marathon participant and aspires to be a trauma surgeon.
October 31 | Jordan Archer
Jordan is 10 years old and lives in Montgomery County, IN. He loves playing basketball and baseball in his spare time, as well as playing with his brother and family.
Jordan was born January 27, 2011 and following an EKG and echocardiogram, his pediatrician detected some issues with his heart and referred him to Dr. Jacqueline Maiers, Pediatric Cardiologist at Riley Hospital for Children.
During his appointment with Dr, Maiers, Jordan was diagnosed with Severe Aortic Stenosis and was scheduled for an urgent surgery to repair his aortic valve. In March 2011, Jordan underwent his first open heart surgery at Riley. Following a 1 week stay at the hospital, with his family close by staying at the Ronald McDonald House, Jordan was allowed to go home.
With his condition, the physicians anticipated that Jordan would need a second surgery around the age of 4. He had regular checkups every 6 months to see how his valve was holding up.
10 years later, in July of 2021, at the age of 11, Jordan underwent his second open heart surgery. Because of Jordan's age, he was able to ask a lot of questions and they were able to describe the process to him, easing any of his fears.
Jordan and his family are hopeful that he will be able to go another 10 years before his next surgery.
October 17 | Samantha and Miles Brown
Samantha and Miles Brown, 8 and 4 years old respectively, are energetic siblings from Westfield. Two years ago, each child was diagnosed with cancer just months apart. For Samantha, what started as a low-grade fever and fatigue in August 2019 led to the discovery of a 2.5lb tumor on her kidney, a Wilms' tumor. Just a few months later in December, Miles was diagnosed with Burkitt's leukemia, an aggressive cancer that left multiple tumors on his kidneys and liver. With help from Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, they successfully beat cancer together. Today, Samantha and Miles are cancer-free and in July of this year, the Browns held a bell-ringing ceremony at home to mark the occasion. These days, Samantha loves gymnastics, tumbling, cheerleading, and Girl Scouts. Miles is working on his baseball swing for tee-ball and learning to play golf. Both enjoy playing with Scout, the family's golden retriever puppy.
September 19 | Daphney Alderin
Seven-year-old Daphney Alderin loves playing baby dolls with her friends and being outside. She was born with a rare heart and lung condition where her pulmonary veins did not connect properly to her heart. Daphney first came to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in 2017, less than 24 hours after her family moved to New Palestine. She spent a week at Riley to recover from a fever and difficulty breathing. Last summer Daphney had a stroke that caused a massive brain bleed, and she spent seven weeks at Riley working hard to regain movement and strength in her left side. Daphney's parents, Emily and Corey Alderin, shared, "God put us at Riley with the right people to save Daphney. We will forever be grateful for their hard work and love for our girl."
September 12 | Sara Buehler
Sara Buehler is 13 years old and lives in Bloomington, Indiana. She attends Tri-North Middle school where she is active in cross country and
swimming. She also swims competitively for the Indiana Swim Club. She loves watching anime, drawing, painting, and crafting anything "squishy".
In July of 2021, Sara suffered severe burns on her stomach and back. She spent two weeks in the Pediatric Burn Unit at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, where she underwent daily debridement, which is medical removal of dead, damaged, or infected tissue to improve the healing potential of the remaining healthy tissue, and also received multiple skin graft surgeries.
Sara is now back at nearly 100% and is enjoying the new school year. She and her family are so thankful for the awesome care she received at Riley Hospital for Children. All members of her care team went above and beyond to make her experience as good as possible.