Prepare to be captivated by the remarkable journey of young Chase, a true embodiment of courage and resilience. At a tender age of just 5 weeks old, his path took an unexpected turn when doctors diagnosed him with Craniosynostosis, a birth defect where the delicate bones in a baby's skull fuse prematurely. Chase underwent a transformative surgery at 13 weeks, followed by a nine-month journey of helmet therapy.
But the twists and turns of Chase's story did not stop there. As he reached his first year, his parents noticed concerning signs. Growth halted, and meals became marred by vomiting. Chase wasn't thriving, and he faced a new adversary—eosinophilic esophagitis, or EoE—inflammation of the esophagus.
“Chase’s overall health was terrible,” says mom, Natalie. “He was always sick and had constant ear infections.”
She adds that Chase failed to thrive for several years, and she and her husband fought hard to keep Chase off a feeding tube. However, thanks to intensive feeding therapy and medications, Chase finally started to grow again.
He was officially in remission for EOE when his care team diagnosed him with asthma at 5 years old. Natalie says, “This hit hard and fast, and he worked with the Allergy and Asthma Clinic to find the right balance of inhalers and biologics to manage his asthma.”
And as soon as Chase got control of his asthma, he developed adrenal suppression because of extended steroid use, which meant more medications. In the meantime, he started getting migraines several times a week and had to add neurology care and more medications to his regimen.
“Having a child with complex medical issues changes the way you see things. You don’t take the little things for granted anymore,” says Natalie. “Instead of having a ‘why my child?’ attitude, we have changed to being thankful it can be treated. It is so hard to see your child in pain, but it gives me peace to know that Chase is in good hands.”
Chase’s family credits his care team at Phoenix Children’s for providing the life-changing care he needed to get back on track to being a kid. Today, he’s 11 and thriving—and he’s quite the brainiac. He’s a straight A student who loves reading, history and science; he sees quantum physics as his future career. When he’s not uncovering the next great hypothesis, he’s driving a golf club, defending his soccer team as goalie, or being the best big brother to his little sister.
- “Instead of having a ‘Why my child?’ attitude we have changed to being thankful he can be treated. It is so hard to see your child in pain, but it gives me peace to know that Chase is in good hands.”NatalieChase's mom
Phoenix Children’s Patient Ambassadors are a valiant bunch—they’ve shown immense strength amidst great setbacks. They’re also athletes, intellectuals, artists and the best siblings.
Even though their lives are full of medical appointments, they want to help other patients. Each ambassador has created a fundraising page to support Phoenix Children’s. Consider donating to Chase's fund today.