Each year, the Radiology department historically “adopts” a family for Christmas. Our adopted families share a history with Cincinnati Children’s. The families we typically adopt are dealing with the normal demands of daily life with children when suddenly their family experiences devastating news regarding a child. Now, instead of their family holiday-time traditions, they must learn to adjust to a new normal of doctor/clinic visits, procedures, and treatments, either knowing or not knowing what the outcome will be.
The goal of our Radiology family is to help brighten the holiday season for our adopted family while they attend to the special needs of their child. After learning specific needs, age and gender, a wish list is created and the collection process begins. A group of employees collect from a variety of divisions and locations throughout Radiology to assist with the donation process.
This year our family’s relationship with Cincinnati Children’s began approximately 6 years ago when their oldest son received his diagnosis. Around the age of two, the family noticed that their son was different from others. However, with the help of Cincinnati Children’s, they were able to get answers to many of their questions and concerns.
Their oldest was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and global developmental delay. At the time, they were unsure what this meant for their oldest son. Every day they are still learning. Their son is now 8 years old. He is nonverbal and communicates through gestures with the help of his communication device. He requires 24/7 care as he needs assistance with bathing, eating, grooming, and toileting. There is one thing that our family stated they know for sure: They would not be where they are today if it wasn’t for Cincinnati Children’s. Through appointments, testing, and therapy sessions, they now have a better understanding of their oldest son and what’s best for him. This will be a lifetime commitment our family is facing. The oldest now has two younger siblings, a sister in the first grade and a brother, age 3. They both are such big helpers when it comes to their big brother.
Recently, this family’s mother lost her job and was put in a position where she could not work. The husband/father and caretaker to their oldest was forced to find a job to help make ends meet. There have been many nights when this family wondered how they were going to provide Christmas to their children or even make it through to the next week. They feel honored and blessed to have been selected for this.
Photo: (lf-rt) Molly Dirr, Susan Smith, Dr. Alex Towbin, Janice Steiner, Julie Young and Heidi Gardner. Absent from photo: Billie Howard, Cathy Wieland and Britney Lung
Janice Steiner, BS, RT(R)(CT), author; Glenn Miñano, BFA, editor; Meredith Towbin, copy editor