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On June 3, 2018, more than 2,000 people celebrated at CHOP's 22nd Annual Fetal Family Reunion. Every year, patients and families treated by the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment return to reconnect with their clinicians and other families who share an inexplicable bond, and celebrate their breakthroughs and how far they’ve come.
Lori Howell, DNP, MS, RN, Executive Director, Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment: Good morning. I'd like to welcome you to the 22nd annual Fetal Family Reunion. Today there are over 400 families, 26 states from ages in utero to over 21. The first reunion, in 1997, we held on mother's day.
N. Scott Adzick, MD, MMM, Surgeon in Chief and Director; Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment: And if you look at the photograph of course, there are a few things that you would notice. In the back row are all the healthcare providers and there are many more of the healthcare providers than there are in the front row of patients, families, mothers and children. And so now I think the math is flipped completely. We’ve now had over 22,000 referrals of mothers carrying babies with birth defects. They’ve come from all 50 states and from more than 70 countries outside the U.S. We're the largest fetal diagnosis and treatment program in the world.
Michael, former patient: I was a diaphragmatic hernia patient. I was born with my stomach up in my chest and I've been coming here 18 years.
Lori Howell: So activities range from games and — indoors/outdoors — rides.
Lindsay, former patient: There's a great carousel here that she wants to be on and there's a bounce house and face painting and there's a family picture. Um, we're also going to go look of the collage at the other fetal families.
Lori Howell: We like to dream, and we like to dream big for the outcomes for these families.
Michael: My dream is to be an electrical engineer. Chase your dream, don't let nobody back you down never give up on your dream.
Tommy, former patient: Being here is just a great experience. I've grown up in this hospital, just coming here, every couple months, just being with the doctors and everybody is just an awesome feeling.
Gabriella, former patient: I love like sharing our experiences with the little ones and to like show that, the parents that like they have hope for their kids.
Colin, former patient: Looking back on younger kids now, it’s kind of nice to kind of give them hope cause they see the older kids. So it's nostalgic and it's also nice to be like a role model in a way.
Tommy: Everybody's nice, everybody's kind, there's nothing to worry about when you come here. It's just all positivity.
Related Centers and Programs:
Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit
Watch our reunion video for highlights from the 21st annual Fetal Family Reunion!
On June 3, more than 2,000 patients and families returned to CHOP to celebrate breakthroughs and reflect on how far they’ve come.
After a grim prognosis, fetal surgery offered hope, and Sofia-Rose entered the world kicking and screaming.