David "TripLE" McLaughlin
Meet David McLaughlin III, or as those who love him call him; Triple. Triple was born on May 4, 2021 into a large and loving family. In addition to mom (Gina) and dad (David II), he is little brother to Landon (13) and Gia (3). David is a happy and cheerful boy, that brings joy and light to all of his family and friends. He loves to smile, play with his mom, dad and siblings, and learn new things at physical therapy. After battling many illness as an infant, in May of 2022, just before his first birthday, Triple was diagnosed with Kabuki Syndrome. Kabuki syndrome is a rare, multisystem genetic disorder which can lead to varying degrees of disability. A wide variety of additional symptoms affecting multiple different organ systems can potentially occur, and this has been the case for Triple. To date, he has battled severe aortic stenosis, dysphonia, hyperopia (with astigmatism), and obstructive sleep apnea. Triple also had open heart surgery and feeding tube placement, amongst many other medical procedures in his short life. While Triple has many difficulties to face, he is already a fighter and never gives up. He goes to two days each of occupational therapy and physical therapy per week. Additionally, he attends 2 days of speech therapy and a weekly group with other children facing similar challenges, via the Monroe Intermediate School District. He also attends weekly and monthly appointments at U of M, and various other specialists throughout the State of Michigan. With each visit and appointment, we see Triple growing and learning more and more. He is communicating more with non-verbal cues, gaining strength all over, and even starting the process of learning to walk. It is such a joy for all who love him to see him laugh and smile as he conquers new things. We cannot wait to see all that he will accomplish as he continues to get the love and support he needs!
Meet Elliott Althouse! Elliott is the happiest, sweetest little four-year-old from Monroe, Michigan. He is the son of Bryce and Amanda Althouse, and brother to his best buddies, pets Leia and Lottie. Elliott’s schedule consists of spending time with his preschool and daycare friends, attending therapies at Mini Mitten, spending time with family and friends, and finding some adventure to get into. Elliott loves all things Disney, dancing, swimming, playing outside, and meeting new people. At the age of two, Elliott had what we know now to be his first seizure. Over the course of the next two years, Elliott would develop multiple types of seizures including absence, atonic, tonic, myoclonic and tonic-clonic seizures. Last year, after failing many medications, Elliott was diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. LGS is an extremely rare epilepsy syndrome that accounts for only 1-4% of all epilepsies in the world, with only one million cases. This syndrome is a type of epileptic encephalopathy, meaning his seizures are resistant to medication and typically results in significant delays and loss of skills. As the syndrome has progressed, Elliott has developed further respiratory issues due to a heightened risk of aspiration, problems with social and motor skills, and behavioral issues and delays. In his short life, he has been hospitalized many times battling uncontrolled seizures, respiratory failure, and injuries due to his seizures. This year, he will be pursuing a procedure to place a VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulator), in an effort to try to control seizures. Though he has faced many obstacles, you would never know it when you meet Elliott. He continues to push through all of the expectations and risks he faces and comes out even stronger. Doctors are always pleased to see Elliott’s physical and verbal abilities, as well as how hard he works to continue to develop skills and learn. Elliott’s family are so thankful for every single day that they have with him, and describe him as the most brave, real-life superhero. To learn more about LGS, you can visit https://www.lgsfoundation.org. If you see Elliott out and about, he will more than likely be eating his favorite snack-chips, and laughing at his own jokes. He’s one in a million- in the very best way.
The minute my grandson, Scott Schwartz, stepped on the ice I knew he would be a hockey player with
skill and determination. Scott spent many years playing travel hockey and went on to play hockey for
Northview High School in Sylvania, Ohio. Scott wore the jersey number 16 and was a defenseman just like his father. I am grateful for the support of the hockey families that we have met through the years. Early in the beginning of June 2022 Scott texted me that he had welts on his elbows. I didn’t think much of it because Scott has always been very sensitive to insect bites. A week or so after that Scott sent me pictures of his feet with small red spots the size of pinheads (petechiea) on them. Scott text me that he thought he had leukemia. Scott’s mother finally convinced him to go to the doctor on June 22, 2022. The next day, Scott was called and told to go to Toledo Hospital. Scott was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He then had a port inserted and began receiving chemotherapy on Saturday, June 25th. Scott spent months in the pediatric oncology unit at Toledo Hospital. There were many ups and downs and scary moments during his hospital stay. I can’t say enough about the care Scott was given while he was there. On December 9, 2022 Scott was admitted to Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI. On December 16th, Scott received a bone marrow transplant. His sister, Alexandra, was his donor. To say that Scott’s journey has been difficult is an understatement. Through it all, Scott has kept his head up and battled on courageously. I can’t begin to stress how extremely proud I am of him. There will continue to be challenges for Scott but I am positive he will face them head on!