CHOP Travels to D.C. for 2018 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day

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In June, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) patient Grant Lorelli, 15, participated in 2018 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. Alongside staff from CHOP’s Government Affairs Department, Grant met with Members of Congress to share information about his health journey and advocate for the importance of children’s healthcare.

Grant was healthy the first several years of his life. But a few months after his 8th birthday, he developed digestive issues and lost a tremendous amount of weight. Figuring out a cause took time, but he was eventually diagnosed with Crohn’s disease — an inflammation of the digestive tract that can cause abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.

Grant and his family pursued treatment at CHOP under the care of Dr. Andrew Grossman, Co-director of the hospital’s Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), who joined the Lorelli family in Washington. Grant is very appreciative of the care he had under Dr. Grossman, who he says “talked to me like a person, not a child.”

“Grant entered CHOP’s care with a disease that was progressing unchecked,” recalls Grant’s father, Dave. “He was starving, unable to absorb the food he was eating. The weight loss was dramatic, so much so that his body stopped growing. Under CHOP’s care, he has been able to attain remission and grow during these important developmental years.”

Along with his father and his twin brother, Conner, Grant had 10 meetings with legislators and staff while in Washington, including his own Representative, Congressman Lloyd Smucker. Showing the positive attitude he has displayed over his seven years of treatment, Grant held articulate conversations about his healthcare journey as well as his interests in volleyball and school. 

With Grant’s Crohn’s disease now in remission thanks to the care he received at CHOP, he can be a typical teen, enjoying time with friends, video games, shoes and fashion. He is looking toward a future that involves a college education and a career in the medical field.

We thank Grant, Dave, Conner and Dr. Grossman for joining us in Washington and for being such excellent advocates for CHOP and children’s health!

Learn more about Speak Now for Kids and find tips for how you can be an advocate for issues that impact children.


2018 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day