My Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon Fundraising Page!
Hometown: Bexley, Ohio
Age on Race Day: 13
Diagnosis: Beta Thalassemia Major
Kael has endured a lot in his 13 years of life. He lived in an orphanage in China for over 10 years before moving to the United States with a new family, language, culture, and everything that comes with managing a serious health condition. Yet somehow, Kael has managed these changes with grace, bravery and resilience and acts as an inspiration to those around him.
Kael was born with Beta Thalassemia Major, a genetic blood disorder that requires monthly blood transfusions and medication for life. Thalassemia patients who live in China have an average life span into their early teens because of the severe blood shortages and lack of access to life-saving medicine. Additionally, the lack of health coverage in China makes it impossible for most family to seek treatment.
Kael has two younger sisters, also both adopted from China, that have the same medical condition. Before adopting Kael, Dr. Aarti Chandawarkar, from Nationwide Children’s Hospital Adoption Clinic, helped his family understand what advanced Thalassemia looked like, day-to-day.
When Kael arrived home in Bexley, Ohio, the clinic provided a comprehensive evaluation to ensure that all health needs were met. From the Adoption Clinic, the Wilson family met Dr. Vilella and his team in the Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Clinic.
“We are so grateful to have access to health coverage and great doctors nearby to provide our kids with the treatment they need to live healthy, long lives. We are very thankful for the doctors and nurses from Nationwide Children’s Hospital that have supported us through our journey and will continue into the future,” says Mandy, Kael’s mother.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Comprehensive Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Program is home to over 280 children, adolescents and young adults, with sickle cell anemia and other disorders of hemoglobin including beta thalassemia, emphasizing primary, secondary and tertiary prevention and treatment using a multidisciplinary team approach. The program is recognized as one of six selected clinical centers for the management of children with sickle cell anemia by the Ohio Department of health, and oversees newborn screening, counseling, clinical management of acute complications and long-term follow-up care for the largest region of the state.
Now in sixth-grade, Kael practices Taekwondo, enjoys cooking, swimming, riding his bike, roller coasters and going out for sushi. His favorite place to visit are Florida and China. When asked why he is excited to be a Patient Champion for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and ½ Marathon, Kael said he can't wait to high five the runners and help motivate them to keep running for a great cause.
Help kids like Kael by making a donation today!
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