Friday, August 27, 2010

Visit to the Children’s Center at John’s Hopkins Hospital


On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, I was scheduled to visit another children’s ward in a hospital. Though I had gotten a bad night’s sleep and had woken up with a migraine headache, I knew that those complaints were nothing compared to what some of the children who I would be meeting dealt with on a daily basis.


This particular hospital’s pediatric ward is especially close to my heart because my cousin Katie is admitted there a few times a year for Cystic Fibrosis, which manifests in her pancreas. When Katie was younger, certain foods would send her into “attacks” which caused unbearable stomach pain and caused her blood cell counts to be dangerously unbalanced. We had no idea what was wrong but after visits to John’s Hopkins, she was eventually diagnosed with Pancreatitis, which they recently linked to a rare genetic form of Cystic Fibrosis. Thanks to John’s Hopkins, Katie is now able to regulate her condition by eating a diet of no-fat and very low-fat foods, and in turn, she is able to live a normal life.


When I got to John’s Hopkins, I quickly forgot about my headache and fatigue. Let me tell you, the best cure for feeling under the weather may well be the look on a small child’s face when they realize that you don’t want to run tests or talk about their ailment, but instead that all you want to do is play with them and talk about their favorite color, their favorite tv show, and what they want to be when they grow up. I have been so inspired by the children I met in the past week who have maintained a positive outlook on life, even facing extreme adversity. I am reminded how blessed I am to be healthy and to remember to live every day to the fullest and to take advantage of all of the amazing opportunities I am given, especially during my reign as Miss Teen International 2010.

Juliana McKee

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