For the Kids, UF Health Shands Children's Hospital eNewsletter
November 2015

A NICU Christmas gift

Twenty-six weeks is exactly half of a calendar year. It is also fourteen weeks short of the “normal” period of time for a human pregnancy. But being just 26 weeks old didn’t stop Andrew Ossenbeck from deciding that it was definitely time to greet the world.

Andrew’s mother, Dr. Ki Park, who was in her fourth year of her cardiology fellowship when she became pregnant, describes her pregnancy as perfectly normal. Now a UF Health cardiologist, Dr. Park was on rounds in UF Health Shands Hospital on Christmas Eve in 2013 when she felt what she thought were false labor pains. Known as Braxton-Hicks contractions, false labor is a common occurrence in pregnancy. However, when the contractions didn’t stop, Dr. Park decided to have an obstetrician check to make sure the baby was all right. Andrew, as it turned out, was intent on arriving early. Despite pharmaceutical therapy to stop the contractions, Dr. Park delivered Andrew on Christmas Day.

With Andrew’s early arrival came a host of complications. Weighing just 2.2 pounds, his lungs weren’t fully formed, requiring him to be intubated. He was so small that his father, Michael Ossenbeck, could fit his wedding ring around Andrew’s arm. He couldn’t feed properly, his tiny heart had to be monitored, and he was anemic. Luckily for Andrew, he was born at UF Health Shands Hospital, where exceptional neonatal care was just steps away.

Read more about Andrew >>


Noche de Gala inspires and uplifts

Prismatic and colorful; surprising and inspiring—the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation’s annual fundraising event Noche de Gala brought each facet of a kaleidoscope to life last month.

More than 750 people gathered at Besilu, a 675-acre farm in Micanopy, Fla., that’s home to the world-class Besilu Collection of Paso Fino Champions. Greeted by glittering streamers and a purple carpet, guests filled the event space where hosts Silvia and Benjamin León Jr. opened the night’s events. Special guests included University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs and Kentucky Derby Jockey Jean Cruget.

Entertainment was an interactive, immersive experience that included performances from Cube Act, an acrobatics show; Santa Fe College Fine Arts ballerinas, pianist, vocalist and violinist; and New York City-based actor, Marc Thompson. A surprise appearance from the original Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno, kicked off the live auction.

While sounds and colors paired for a vivid scene, the memorable moment came when UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital Patient Ambassadors, Nate, Ava and William appeared on stage. In that moment, they reminded us all what the night is really about — supporting the children who depend on UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital for world-class care.

Thank you to all who contributed to the event’s success. With more than $800,000 raised from this event alone, your enthusiasm for our shared goal of supporting a dedicated children’s hospital is undeniable.\

Learn more about the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation and its mission here

Transform Today a smashing success

Between 8 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17 and 10:12 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, University of Florida students, community members and Miracle Families raised about $143 every single minute for children at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.

Earlier this month, Dance Marathon at the University of Florida hosted its 2nd annual Transform Today. During Transform Today, Dance Marathon at UF set a goal to break a national record by fundraising $200,000 in 26.2 hours.

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Nov. 17, University of Florida students, community members and Miracle Families rallied together to raise awareness and funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. For 26.2 hours, students canned around campus, participated in hospitality and phone-a-thon events and utilized social media to fundraise. With the support of more than seven miracle families sharing their stories and talents throughout the day, students were inspired to meet and exceed the fundraising challenge.

By 10:12 a.m. on Nov. 18, Dance Marathon at UF revealed a fundraising total of $224,756.13, shattering their announced fundraising goal!

Thank you to each person who helped make the 2nd annual Transform Today an inspiring success. All funds raised through Dance Marathon at UF support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. Dance Marathon at UF raised more than $2,015,307.17 in 2014, making them the second largest Dance Marathon program in the nation.

Learn more about Dance Marathon at UF here.

4 things to know about 2nd Annual Festival of Trees

With Thanksgiving behind us and the December holidays around the corner, we’re ushering in the festive season with the second annual Festival of Trees, benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. Here’s what you need to know, and why you should go.

1. Décor, done. You just washed and put away the last bit of Thanksgiving utensils and linen (maybe). Now it’s time to switch gears (and color palettes) and get ready for the rest of the December holidays. At Festival of Trees, you can bid on expertly decorated trees and exquisite wreaths, delivered straight to you. Now to just hang the stockings!

2. Sneak peek with Santa. The main Festival of Trees showcase takes place Dec. 4-5 in Tioga Town Center. But you can get an exclusive early look and an opportunity to make first bids or “buy it now” at the VIP party on Dec. 3. You will also hear a special performance from one of our Miracle Children’s violin class. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in attendance for pictures as well — no word on Rudolph. Tickets are $40; cocktail attire.

3. Gators supporting Gators. On Saturday, Dec. 5, there’s a little football game happening in Atlanta with our own Florida Gators. Drop by the Festival of Trees on your way to the Town of Tioga watch party. Spread some cheer at both stops!

4. For the kids. UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital treats more than 100,000 kids each year. Events like Festival of Trees raise money to fund pediatric research, programs like Child Life and the most immediate needs of the hospital like equipment and renovations. Last year, $7 million was raised for local kids, right here at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.

Join us for the second annual Festival of Trees on December 3-5, held in Tioga Town Center. Learn more about Festival of Trees here.