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2011 Fetal Family Reunion

<h2>We Are Family!</h2> <p>More than 1,000 parents, children and staff turned out June 26 for the 15th Annual Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Fetal Family Reunion at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The event drew young and old together for a day of carnival rides, socializing and special guests. A group shot at the beginning of the day captured many of this year's attendees. <em>photos courtesy Crane Photography</em></p> <h2>The Cats Meow</h2> <p>Maggie (left) and Gabrielle have been friends since the womb -- literally. Their moms met while pregnant with the girls -- both of whom had fetal surgery at CHOP. Though Maggie lives in Connecticut and Gabbie lives in Illinois, the girls love getting together and catching up at the reunion.</p> <h2>Stealing Hearts</h2> <p>Even at the age of three, Tommy has quite a knack with the ladies. His mop of red hair and devilish grin no doubtedly helped him make new friends like this one at the 15th Annual Fetal Family Reunion.</p> <h2>Swivel Hips</h2> <p>A toddler demonstrates his hula hooping moves under a picnic tent at the 15th Annual Fetal Family Reunion at CHOP. While the youngster may not rival Elvis Presley's hip-shaking action yet, he's definitely working on it.</p> <h2>Pony Express</h2> <p>Wayne, 7, of Keyport, NJ, takes a whirl around the carousel at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment's Fetal Family Reunion on June 26.</p> <h2>Trailblazer</h2> <p>Noah, 13, of Bay City, MI, chats with N. Scott Adzick, MD, MMM, FAAP, FACS, surgeon-in-chief at CHOP, director of the Center and lead author of a clinical breakthrough report on fetal surgery to treat spina bifida. Watching the interaction are Noah's mom Melissa, brother Zachary, 10, and dad Kevin.</p> <h2>Hanging Around</h2> <p>Climbing the rock wall was a fun challenge for hundreds of youth who attended CHOP's 15th Annual Fetal Family Reunion. But, as they all soon learned, what goes up, must eventually come down. Elisabeth, 10, of Secaucus, NJ, holds on tight as her harness is lowered to the ground outside the Children's Seashore House of CHOP.</p> <h2>You've Come a Long Way, Baby</h2> <p>Obstetrician Michael W. Bebbington, MD, MHSc, FRCSC, FACOG, chats with new mom Lorie and her twin girls, Emma-Leigh and Annalise, who were born in 2010 at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.</p> <h2>All Aboard!</h2> <p>Marina, 11, and her brother Chris, 16, of Scotia, NY, take the scenic route around the courtyard courtesy of a miniature train that was one of the attractions at the 15th Annual Fetal Family Reunion at CHOP. Marina said she loves getting her face painted and seeing all the "miracle kids" like herself.</p> <h2>A Big Green Hug</h2> <p>When the Philly Phanatic is around, watch out for random hugs. That's what this young pirate found out when the fluffy mascot for the Phillies got hold of him at the Fetal Family Reunion at CHOP on June 26. Thankfully, Matthew didn't seem to mind the attention.</p> <h2>Celebrating Family</h2> <p>The Fetal Family Reunion is a great time for CHOP staff to find out how the tiny babies they helped long ago are growing into healthy children and teens today. Perinatal advanced practice nurse Sue Miesnik CRNP, CNMS, (top right) was all smiles with Mathis, 9, and his family from Eatontown, NJ.</p> <h2>Up in the Air</h2> <p>Three-year-old Andrew takes a huge leap before sliding down to the end of the inflatable obstacle course. Andrew attended the Fetal Family Reunion with his family from Voluntown, CT.</p> <h2>Some Bunny's Special</h2> <p>Lions and tigers and bears? No way! This young attendee at the 15th Annual Fetal Family Reunion wanted something a little different when she got her face painted. This bouncing bunny girl was one of hundreds of youth who were transformed by three professional face painters at the June 26th event at CHOP.</p> <h2>Ticket to Ride</h2> <p>While twins Emma-Leigh and Annalise took a walk around the CHOP grounds with their parents, another toddler at the 15th Annual Fetal Family Reunion decided he wanted a closer look at one of their rides. When the girls returned, they were curious about the mysterious young stranger, but willing to share.</p> <h2>Strutting Their Stuff</h2> <p>Besides cheesesteaks and pretzels, nothing says Philly like the Mummers. A quartet of the fancy-dressed musicians came out to the Fetal Family Reunion to entertain the crowd. Kaseem, 7, of Philadelphia, gets a closer look as others enjoy a few of the day's other colorful attractions -- a bounce house and huge inflatable slide.</p> <h2>Seeing Double</h2> <p>Four-year-old twins Aspen and Ainsley, from Marietta, PA, raced through the inflatable obstacle course dozens of times trying to beat the other down the home stretch -- the slide.</p> <h2>Canines & Kids</h2> <p>A Philadelphia Police K-9 unit was one of the special guests at the 15th Annual Fetal Family Reunion. The dog wasn't "on duty" so children like Abigail, 7, and Gabriel, 4, of Bridgeton, NJ, could pet the German shepherd.</p> <h2>Making Smiles Appear</h2> <p>Magician Chuck Walker had a knack for making items disappear and wine glasses seem to float in the air. No matter what he was up to, his pint-sized audience was thoroughly engaged. Addison, 4, of Westfield, NJ, cannot stop laughing, while her brother Chris, 6, and others also enjoy the show.</p> <h2>Shine On!</h2> <p>Attending surgeon Holly L. Hedrick, MD, FAAP, FACS, got a chance to catch up with Michael, 11, of Sewell, NJ, and his family, at the 15th Annual Fetal Family Reunion.</p> <h2>Child's Play</h2> <p>Along with the big attractions outside, there was plenty to do inside as well at the 15th Annual Fetal Family Reunion. Andie, 5, of Nazareth, PA, chooses a prize with the help of her mom Lisa, after the pair played carnival games, colored and did crafts.</p> <h2>Leading the Way</h2> <p>Although twins, these toddlers are already showing individuality by their hat choice -- or lack thereof. The baby blondes were among 1,000-plus attendees at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment's 15th Annual Fetal Family Reunion held June 26 at CHOP.</p> <h2>How Do You Do?</h2> <p>The Philly Phanatic greets a new fan at CHOP's 15th Annual Fetal Family Reunion. While some toddlers cried when the Phillies' mascot got close, this wide-eyed cutie smiled and shook his finger as her mom looked on.</p> <h2>Dance, Dance Revolution</h2> <p>Maggie (left) and Gabbie, both 8, dance to the beat in a game at the 15th Annual Fetal Family Reunion. Both girls were treated at CHOP for spina bifida, the most common birth defect of the central nervous system which affects about 1,500 babies born each year in the U.S.</p> <h2>Race Ya!</h2> <p>Landon, 6, of Honey Brook, PA, takes the lead in a race to reenter an inflatable obstacle course at the Fetal Family Reunion. Trailing him is sister Ellie, 3.</p> <h2>Flying Free</h2> <p>The outdoor music and festive mood brought out Kylie's fun side as she twirled and danced in her wheelchair around the courtyard at the Fetal Family Reunion. The 8-year-old from Bensalem, PA, said she doesn't let her disability define who she is or what she can do: She just modifies her approach.</p>
<p><a href="/chop/service/fetal-diagnosis-and-treatment/fetal-family-reunion">See Life Affirming, a story about the reunion</a>.</p>
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