On June 4, 2017, more than 2,000 people came together at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to celebrate the 21st annual Fetal Family Reunion. Each year, the reunion brings together a unique community of families who share the common bond of receiving a birth defect diagnosis prenatally. Many of these conditions have potentially devastating outcomes, but CHOP’s Richard D. Wood Jr. Center for Fetal Diagnosis & Treatment is a pioneer in the field of fetal medicine, treating more and more birth defects with either fetal surgery or specialized care immediately after birth. Watch the video to celebrate alongside our inspiring families!
2017 Fetal Family Reunion Video
Female 1: We come here every year. It’s a great way to reconnect with the doctors and say thank you once again and show off how great Braden is doing, and it’s now our second home.
Female 2: These people here, the doctors especially, I see some of the nurse who was with me. We still like a family.
Male 1: All the people come together from everywhere. Like I met someone that came from Virginia, and it’s cool how they come and they, just like me and all the kids, have fun here.
N. Scott Adzick, MD: The kids have a blast. Face painting, mummers; I saw Rapunzel over there. We spoil the kids cause they deserve to be spoiled.
Female 1: At my 18 week ultrasound and blood work, we found out that Braden had spina bifida, and at that time they had offered the fetal surgery here at CHOP.
Male 2: When we first learned of his diagnosis, there wasn’t really too much hope, and when we came out here, met the doctors, met the staff, four years later you know, he’s defying all odds.
Female 3: We were told that there were some abnormalities in her brain. My original OB doctor did tell us that we should consider terminating. They referred us here to CHOP, and this was the only place that gave us hope.
Male 3: Just the relationship we formed with the team here when we first met them before we even had the surgery, we just knew that was the right fit. Felt like family from the first day we came in.
N. Scott Adzick, MD: When you operate and save a child, you save a lifetime.
Female 4: Seventeen years ago I was born here in CHOP, and I had a teratoma cervical, and I was about like the third kid ever to have one.
Female 5: He was born with a lymphatic malformation, and he had a compromised airway.
Female 6: She was born with an oral pharyngeal teratoma. Before she was born they removed the outside of the tumor, they placed a trach, and then they cut the umbilical cord, so she was born twice.
Female 7: I was born in 1997. I was diagnosed with CDH, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, and ever since then, we’ve been coming back.
Female 8: They taught us that life is, I don’t know, deeper; it’s not so superficial. Her disability and his disability does not define who they are, and they are our gifts.
Female 7: Children’s Hospital will always hold a special place in my heart. I’m going to the University of Florida; I’m planning to major in Biomedical Engineering, and I actually want to go to med school and become a physician. So, it’s actually the people here that inspired me to do that.
Female 9: I just love everybody here. It’s amazing what they do here.
Female 5: I hope CHOP continue doing what they’re doing.
Female 3: Who knows what’s going to happen in the next 21 years. Hopefully, people won’t have to go through as much as, you know maybe, we’re going through now, maybe there’ll be more preventative care, and that’s why we donate, and that’s why we’re part of the CHOP family.
Female 4: I can’t believe I’m here.
Male 4: Everybody that’s here right now can is grateful to be here because of the inspiration of their child being here.
Female 10: We’re extremely grateful for all the, you know, the blessings we’ve had and the work of the doctors and the nurses. And so without the Center for Fetal Diagnosis & Treatment, the course of Madison’s life would have been much different. So, we’re just extremely grateful for Children’s Hospital.
Female 6: They’re like angels sent from heaven; that’s what I call them all the time. Because the day I arrived here I had no hope, and the day I left here I had hope, and that is what they gave me, hope.
Topics Covered: Fetal Surgery, Fetal Surgery for Spina Bifida (Myelomeningocele, MMC), Fetal Surgery for Sacrococcygeal Teratoma Spina Bifida Causes, Symptoms and Treatment, Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH), Fetal Giant Neck Masses
Related Centers and Programs: Richard D. Wood Jr. Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit