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fall 2011



A Publication For The Donors Of Children’s Healthcare Of Atlanta

Abby Boone as 2 Join she battles leukemia a planned gift; 6 Make make an impact the leader of 12 Meet our autism efforts

A fromspe ci ou al u r C pda ha t irm e an

Like nothing we’ve done before

By now, you’ve likely heard the staggering stats: Georgia has the second highest childhood obesity rate in the country. Nearly 40 percent of Georgia’s children are overweight or obese. And this generation of kids may be the first to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. This is not OK, and Children’s is stepping up to help. To take on this complex issue, Children’s has developed a comprehensive statewide plan that incorporates a large-scale public awareness campaign and programs to reach children and families in schools, early child care centers, physician’s offices, the community and more.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation Board of Trustees Thomas M. Holder, Chairman Douglas K. Garges, Vice Chairman Charles H. Ogburn, Vice Chairman G.F. Agerton III

Donna W. Hyland

Claire L. Arnold

Mary Ellen Imlay

Kathy T. Betty

Mark Kauffman

Robert W. Bruce Jr., M.D.

Mary Jo Kirchner

Robert M. Campbell, M.D.

Scott MacLellan

James A. Carlos

Richard J. McKay

Allen M. Chan

William C. Pate

Dean H. Eisner

Beatriz Perez

Rev. Dr. Darrell D. Elligan

Margaret Conant Reiser

Molly Fletcher

Christy Roberts

R. Brad Foster

Michael B. Russell

Tom Giddens

John L. Simms II

Jonathan D. Goldman

Scott Slade

Eugene A. Hayes III

Terri Theisen

On the heels of successful pilot programs in Macon and Columbus earlier this year, Children’s brought the first phase of our childhood obesity effort to Atlanta last month. The initial ad campaign is like nothing our organization has ever done before. It’s provocative, hard-hitting and designed to wake up parents. We want people to get engaged, to start talking and even to choose sides in this public health debate. We need you, our donors, to help us carry the message into the community that no one loves kids more than Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Our intention with the ad campaign is to alert, not to offend, and to lead change for Georgia’s kids. The “warning” phase of the plan is just the beginning of addressing this issue. It will be followed by a “solutions” phase later this fall, called Strong4Life, which will bring the community together and empower families to start with simple healthy steps at home. The childhood obesity epidemic did not happen overnight—it’s more than 30 years in the making. Children’s vision is to be the leading voice for the health of Georgia’s children. And, we must be the voice of child wellness, no matter how big the task. Sincerely,

Thomas M. Holder Chairman, Board of Trustees Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation

Visit to learn more about our efforts to fight childhood obesity.



Connect with us

Abby’s Road

Spend three days with 8-year-old Abby Boone as she and her family experience the struggles and triumphs of fighting childhood cancer.


Make a planned gift; make an impact

Julie Childs is planning now to make a difference in children’s lives for years to come.


As a recipient of Small Wonders, you can also receive our quarterly e-newsletter. Visit to sign up. In addition, if you would like to receive Small Wonders electronically, visit


Ami Klin, Ph.D., Director of Marcus Autism Center, shares his plans for the future of autism diagnosis and treatment.

8 highlights&happenings 14 among friends 17 mark your calendar

As a not-for-profit organization, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta pledges to direct the greatest portion of community gifts to serving patients and their families. To that end, we produced this report in-house, using the most cost-efficient paper and printing techniques. This book is printed on paper containing a minimum of 10 percent post-consumer waste and is manufactured in an environmentally friendly manner. We encourage you to recycle this magazine or pass it along to friends so they can learn about Children’s.

Visit for: – Exclusive behind-the-scenes features with Abby Boone – Planned giving resources – More information about Marcus Autism Center and the eye-tracking technology

Fall 2011 |


Small Wonders staff spent three days with Abby Boone and her family. The following story portrays the hopeful—and sometimes painful—journey they must take as Abby fights her battle with leukemia at the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Abby’s Road Abby Boone hates the word blood. Unfortunately, it has become an all-too-common one in the Boone family’s vocabulary since the 8-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the white blood cells, in March. Tuesday It’s a sweltering hot day in July, and Abby, along with her 6-yearold brother, Andy, are leaving their Suwanee home with their mom, Kim, in anticipation of long hours of doctor appointments

needs, while Kim checks her list. Then, Abby’s face lights up. She sees a pink chair—perfect for her new desk. “Mom, this will look so good in my room,” Abby says. The price is right, and Kim is thrilled to make her daughter happy. For Kim, it’s

and errands.

the little things that make a big difference.

“Mom, don’t say that word!” Abby yells, when her mother explains

At the next stop—a dermatologist appointment for Andy—Abby

the day’s schedule, which includes a trip to the pediatrician for blood work before her visit to the Aflac Cancer Center. “We call it VJ for vampire juice, or just B,” Kim says, correcting herself. “We’ll get Abby’s B drawn, and if her counts are high enough, she can start treatment Thursday.”

sits in the waiting room, playing games on her iPod. She is wearing bright pink, her favorite color. She’s lost most of her hair because of treatment. Today, little bits of glitter—remnants of a shirt worn the day before—catch the light from her bare head as Abby talks about all the things she can’t wait to do. Go on a cruise. Go to Hawaii. She talks about her favorite foods, her best friends. A

Days like this are typical for the Boones. In the car early in the

typical 8-year-old with dreams and hopes, but the toughest part is

morning. Out of the car for an appointment. Back in the car.

yet to come.

Out again.

“Where do you think you want them to take the B today?”

“Yes, our life is a juggle, but everyone’s life is a juggle. Ours is just

Kim asks. Abby points down at her left arm. “No, honey.

a different juggle than it was a year ago,” Kim says. “It’s our

That arm’s already bruised.”

new normal.”

Kim applies numbing cream to Abby’s other arm, and the

The first stop today is a quick trip to Staples for school supplies.

family again piles in the car. Throughout the morning, Kim has

Despite their somewhat halted lives, the Boones must still plan

encouraged Abby to drink water. That will help the blood draw go

ahead. Abby walks through the store, pointing out things she

more smoothly.

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The kind lab techs at Abby’s pediatrician’s office are ready for her. They take a break from lunch just for her. As one of the lab techs examines Abby’s arm, she tells her she might have trouble finding her vein there. Abby is scared. A past blood draw from her hand was painful, and she hasn’t forgotten. She tells the tech to try the arm first. They count down from three, two, one.

They move into another room. There they’ll speak to the doctor and prepare Abby for treatment. Abby calls it the chit-chat room. While they’re there, nurses, other staff members and even fellow patients stop by, saying hello and gathering the latest news. Rachel Segneri, a Children’s physical therapist, comes into the room. Abby is part of a research study that will show how certain

The vein is too small. Abby cries loudly and reaches for her mother

exercises affect long-term outcomes. Abby stretches, then marches

as the tech speaks softly to her and begins the draw from her hand.

in place with her mom while her dad watches and encourages her.

Her mother soothes her. And then it’s done.

Melinda Pauly, M.D., a fellow with the Aflac Cancer Center, comes

Kim hates seeing her daughter in pain, but knows she has to be strong for her. “She feeds off my emotions. She’s so tired of being stuck with needles. I know that. But if I break down, we’re done for,” she says.

in to give the Boones Abby’s new treatment schedule. She also has good news. “We have an official off-therapy date for you,” she says. “You’ll be done July 14, 2013.”

“That’s not to say that I don’t go home at night and lose it when

Until then, for the next several months, Abby will visit the clinic

she’s not around.”

every week and spend every other week in inpatient treatment.

The news is good. Abby’s counts are high enough for her to begin her new treatment round at the Aflac Cancer Center. Kim high-

After that, she’ll continue to visit the clinic every month. Her type of leukemia has a high cure rate, and Abby’s prognosis is good.

fives Abby, happy to be moving forward. The hard part is over—

Today, Abby will be sedated while she receives a spinal tap. The

for today.

medication will enter her spinal fluid to keep cancer from hiding


there. As she receives the anesthesia, she counts up from one, two,

It’s two days after their busy day of appointments, and Kim is up by 5 a.m. She, her husband, Jamey, and Abby are at the Aflac Cancer Center long before their 8 a.m. appointment. Abby and Andy spent the day before with friends. They went to lunch. They went to see Mr. Popper’s Penguins at the theater. They had a good day, Kim says. But today will be long.

The nurse calls Abby and her parents back to check her vitals.

three. She only makes it to 17 before she’s asleep. It’s only about 10 minutes before she’s awake again—and asking for chicken nuggets. She’s had to abstain from eating since the night before, so she begs Jamey for her favorite food. “Thank you. You’re the best daddy in the whole world ever,” she says as he leaves.

Fall 2011 |


Jamey, a senior vice president at Bank of America, is glad to be at a

both know that a lot of their energy goes to Abby, and they make

hospital where he knows his daughter is cared for and comfortable.

sure to do special things with their son, too.

“You feel like you’ve gained a new family,” he said. “You walk in

“We try to keep life at home as normal as we possibly can—for

and you know everyone here. The staff here is amazing. This is a

Abby and for Andy,” Kim says. “If Andy gets invited to a birthday

love labor for them, and it really shows.”

party, we do everything in our power to make sure he can go.

Abby will be in the hospital until at least Sunday. She’ll have 24 hours of chemotherapy and will be discharged when the medicine

We have family game nights and family movie nights. We don’t want it to be all about leukemia.”

reaches a safe low level in her body. Abby is taken in a wheelchair

Room 182 at the Hotel Aflac, as the Boones call it, is starting to

through the hospital to her room, clutching her nuggets. Kim and

look homey. Kim has brought food, blankets, crafts and other

Jamey start unpacking and settling in for the next few days.

activities to make things easier for Abby—and for her and Jamey.


Abby has decorated both her door and her window with flowers,

Abby is tired. Sleep in the hospital is interrupted sleep, but last night was especially challenging. She began her chemotherapy at 9:30 p.m. and rested in her room. Jamey stayed with her while Kim went home to tuck Andy into bed. Abby’s medication is a new one for her, and the effects are already taking a toll. She vomited twice overnight and today can barely keep her eyes open. Kim and Jamey switched places this morning, and he headed back home. Kim’s aunt and uncle drove to Atlanta from Virginia to help the family and take care of Andy. Now, they’re visiting Abby while she plays a board game with her brother. The Boones try to help Andy understand what is going on with his sister and normalize his life as much as possible. Kim and Jamey

4 | smallwonders

writing the phrase, “Cancer can’t bloom here—only flowers can.” She and her parents will spend the next few days taking laps of the hospital, visiting fellow patients they’ve gotten to know and hoping to go home as soon as possible. The Boones have spent a lot of time at the hospital lately. A high fever recently led to a 10-day stay and forced Abby to miss Camp Sunshine—a special camp for children with cancer. Kim knows all of this is just a step to their ultimate goal—making sure Abby is cancer-free. “She is a fighter, and she is kicking cancer’s butt,” Kim says. “Everything we have to go through is just one more way to make sure we’ll never have to do it again.”

About the Aflac Cancer Center – One of the largest childhood cancer and blood disorders

centers in the country, treating more than 6,500 children each year at three campuses – 350 new cancer patients each year – Cared for children from 43 states and around the world

– All physicians are researchers, meaning every child is evaluated for clinical trial participation as part of our ongoing efforts to find the most effective treatments – One of the largest and most comprehensive survivor programs in the country, following nearly 1,000 cancer survivors


Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children from birth to age 15. Each year, more than 10,000 new cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed— approximately 46 children and adolescents every day. The Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, along with several other organizations, recently created the Stop Childhood Cancer Alliance. We want to see these statistics change by increasing awareness of childhood cancer and enhancing support for the young people fighting this disease—and the clinicians and researchers who are helping them. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. You can get involved by making a donation, volunteering or working with Visit for exclusive online content, including: – A behind-the-scenes take from the Small Wonders writer – A photo slideshow of Abby and her family – Updates from Kim Boone about her daughter’s prognosis

member organizations. Visit to learn more.

Fall 2011 |


Make a planned gift; make an impact

Every day, our donors make a difference in the life of a child. Visit for more information about the individuals, corporations and organizations that support Children’s.

Julie Childs has a history of giving to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta that spans more than 25 years. And because she has included Children’s in her will, her support will continue for many years to come. Childs, who grew up in Decatur, remembers driving past what-was-then Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital when she was a child. “I remember seeing the kids sitting on the porch in these big wooden wheelchairs,” she said. “That image kind of stuck with me.” When she became a lawyer and joined McLain & Merritt P.C., the firm’s partner, James McLain, had made Scottish Rite a part of his life and career. “He was extremely active with Scottish Rite. He served on the board and the firm did some legal work for them. That’s how I initially got involved,” Childs said. Childs joined a young professionals group and learned more about the hospital, and she continued to stay involved. Two of her nieces have Type I diabetes and were treated at Children’s, drawing the organization even closer to her heart. “I already knew they did fabulous work for children throughout the Southeast. They save lives and make lives better,” she said. “The people there are so special.” To help ensure Children’s is able to continue its legacy of care, Childs added the not-for-profit organization to her will. She made Children’s the beneficiary of her individual retirement account (IRA). “It is an easy way to give, because it doesn’t affect you now. Most people don’t have $50,000 to give while they’re living,” she said. Planned giving has played a major role in the history of Children’s. When Thomas Egleston died, his will provided $100,000 for the construction of a hospital for children, with an additional $12,500 in annual support for its operation. That hospital eventually became Children’s at Egleston.

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“People need to know they can make a big difference in the lives of children by doing this one simple thing.”­

— Julie Childs, on giving

“That was one estate gift and look at what that’s done. It’s a great story to encourage others to give,” she said. As an estate planning attorney, Childs helps her clients make gifts that will extend beyond their lifetimes. Because it costs $2.7 million a day to operate Children’s, she hopes others will be inspired to give. “If more people understood how many children receive care from Children’s, I think they’d be more inclined to give,” she said. “People need to know they can make a big difference in the lives of children by doing this one simple thing.”

Planned Giving at Children’s Planned gifts enable you to support Children’s in many different ways. Typically, planned gifts carry special tax benefits and may provide you and your heirs additional income. Planned giving is an option for supporters at all income levels and may allow you to make a larger gift than you thought possible. Types of planned gifts include: – Bequests – Charitable gift annuities

If you are required to take minimum distributions from your traditional or Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and you do not need the money for personal use, consider making a tax-free gift to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, your children’s hospital. Giving is easy: – Have your IRA administrator transfer funds from your IRA account directly to Children’s. – Your gift must arrive by Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011. If you are 70½ or older, you can contribute up to $100,000 annually. Visit or contact Elaine Eberhart at or 404-785-7346 for more information.

– Charitable lead trusts – Charitable remainder trusts – Life insurance – Real estate – Retirement plans

The Children’s Legacy Trust was created to recognize donors who have made a gift to Children’s through their will or estate plan. If you have included Children’s in your will or estate plan, let us know so we can recognize you as a permanent member of this distinguished group of supporters. Visit or call Elaine Eberhart at 404-785-7346 to start planning for your future today.

Fall 2011 |




One gift saves multiple lives When Jon Pomenville decided to give a kidney to someone in need, he sparked a chain of events that saved the lives of three people, including a 7-year-old boy, and forever altered the lives of many others. Six people were part of a remarkable paired-donor exchange through Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University Hospital. The process allows healthy individuals to donate a kidney to a friend, loved one or even to a stranger, despite incompatible blood matches. With this type of exchange, a donor and recipient are matched with another incompatible donor and recipient and the kidneys are exchanged between the pairs. Because of Pomenville’s gift, three people received new kidneys, including 7-year-old Zion Parnes, who underwent his transplant at Children’s. Exchanges like these can bring more hope to those awaiting transplants. They can be options for patients who have willing family members or friends who are medically suitable, but have a blood type that is incompatible with the recipient’s blood type.

Making a gift for the future When Tycho Howle, a Children’s Trustee, sold a house, he created a gift that will help Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for years to come. Howle is the founder of nuBridges LLC, a software firm that protects sensitive data and enables companies to conduct safe exchanges of digital information. The businessman and his wife, Marie, recently sold a six-bedroom spec home near Buckhead for $1.8 million—and donated the proceeds to five charities, including Children’s. Because of his generosity, the spec home became known as the Gift House. Howle made his gift through a charitable remainder trust, which means he and his wife will earn income from the donation, while the remainder of the funds will go to the designated charities at the end of their lifetimes. Visit to learn more.

Celebrate the holiday season with Children’s The holiday season officially begins with the 31st annual Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas Parade Saturday, Dec. 3. Thousands of families will line Peachtree Street to see first-hand the award-winning bands and dance groups, large helium balloons, holiday floats, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. The parade is hosted by WSB-TV and airs live from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Star94 Radio will be at the grandstands providing live commentary and holiday music during the event. Visit to purchase bleacher tickets.

8 | smallwonders

Blank family makes $3 million gift to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Arthur M. Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons, recently made a $3 million gift to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta through The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. The gift, in honor of longtime Children’s Trustee, Stephanie V. Blank, benefited the Children’s Child Protection Center, now named the Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children. He chose to do so because Stephanie’s first tour of the center, more than a decade ago, inspired her to become a leading voice for Georgia’s children. The center promotes the safety and well-being of children through community advocacy and the identification, assessment and prevention of child abuse. It provides services in a safe, child-friendly environment by a team of professionals with extensive pediatric experience. It is recognized at a state and national level as a child advocacy center for child abuse and neglect. The Blank family also awarded Children’s two additional grants this year, including $150,000 to fund the creation of a transition room in the Children’s Sibley Heart Center, where a family can stay with a child as they prepare to leave the hospital, and $18,000 to purchase a GlideScope Video Laryngoscope to help when inserting tubes to manage young patients’ airways.

Collaborating to save lives Construction began in June for a new Health Sciences Research Building. Researchers from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine will strive to find new cures for some of the hardest-to-treat childhood diseases. In addition to pediatrics, the new research building, which will encompass 200,000 square feet, will include investigations in cancer, immunology and drug discovery. Thanks to tremendous donor support, Children’s and Emory are within $1 million of raising the remaining $19 million to fully fund this project, including $13.5 million in the form of challenge grants. To obtain these gifts, we must secure the remaining $1 million by the end of the year. These challenge grants and the urgency of meeting them present a unique opportunity for donors to create an exciting finish for this capital campaign. “Atlanta is blessed with many fine institutions—like Emory—which believe in collaboration, and we will continue to grow because it’s the collaboration among our clinical and academic professionals that will determine how much we are able to provide for Georgia’s children now and in the future,” said Donna Hyland, President and CEO of Children’s.

Fall 2011 |




WSB continues commitment to Children’s

The 11th annual AM 750 and NOW 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB Care-a-Thon in August raised more than $1.3 million for the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Bolstered by the unwavering on-air support of News/Talk WSB personalities Neal Boortz, Clark Howard and Scott Slade, who also serves as a Children’s Foundation Trustee, the 37-hour broadcast showcased stories of our courageous patients and their families. Since its inception, the Care-a-Thon has raised more than $11 million for the Aflac Cancer Center.

Matt Ryan trades his football helmet for golf clubs to help Children’s Atlanta Falcons and Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan hosted his inaugural Celebrity-Am Classic golf tournament in June at the Tournament Players Club (TPC) at Sugarloaf. The sold-out event drew 125 players and benefited Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Matt Ryan Foundation. Several of Ryan’s fellow Falcons participated, including: Chris Redman, John Parker Wilson, Michael Jenkins, Brian Finneran and Tyson Clabo. Other celebrity participants included Julius Erving, Javy Lopez, Warrick Dunn, Jessie Tuggle and Phil Niekro. Verizon Wireless served as the event’s presenting sponsor; AirTran and NASCO served as championship sponsors; and Morton’s The Steakhouse provided food.

Children’s cares for concussions A concussion can happen anytime, anywhere—on the field, on the playground or at home. Each year, nearly 4 million concussions occur in the U.S.—many of these are teens and children younger than age 4. The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Concussion Program has a pediatric-trained team experienced in treating babies, children and teens with mild-to-severe head injuries. The program uses specialists from services, including emergency, neurology, neuropsychology, neurosurgery, sports medicine, physiatry and immediate care. The program is also staffed with a dedicated concussion nurse who helps coordinate each child’s care and serves as a resource for healthcare professionals. Visit for more information.

Buy holiday cards to support Children’s Whether you plan to send traditional or custom photo greeting cards this holiday season, you can support Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. This year’s Holiday Card Program features artwork from nine patients. The sales of each of the cards will go toward the unit of the hospital where the patient was treated, including Marcus Autism Center, the Children’s Emergency Department, the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s and the Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Visit to place your order today. You can also go to to order holiday photo cards to support Children’s. Tiny Prints also has announcements, invitations, labels and e-cards available year-round. Use promotion code CHOA12 to receive 10 percent off your order of $49 or more.

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young inspiration

s r e h t o g n i lp e Dreams of h

f Atlanta Healthcare o ’s n re ild h C t , patient a lbert, age 11 me a nurse By Ansley To I want to beco e. rs nu us eo ag sability. own as a cour cause of that di ld like to be kn be ou w es I lv , se up em th ow When I gr and don’t believe in of themselves disabilities and ve ha ho w n way they think e th ge an for childre ch I will also them medicine, I won’t just give . I visited my their futures. well as I should as g in ar he t n’ a is a tumor to realize I was A cholesteatom ade, I started r. gr ea nd ft co le y se m in in When I was cholesteatoma ar anymore. d you can’t he ed that I had a er an ov em sc th di s d he an crus ear doctor or. If we ner ear until it e the entire tum bones in the in ov e m th re nd to ou le ar ab that wraps I still need the doctor was aring forever. ear surgeries, he ur y fo m d of l an s al ar st lo After two ye e, I could have teatoma in tim es ol ch e th d hadn’t foun I would ing aid. rently, and that to wear a hear ffe di e m of k in ve to do. yone would th I believed ever other things I lo y it, an g m in us do d te or l ar al When I first st I no longer er ski, play softb the guitar, wat d to drop, and te ay ar pl st to es le ad ab gr y no longer be discouraged. M f and became el ys m in e nc I lost confide e my dreams. es. I started to wanted to chas ugh the hard tim ro th e m t go ly es of me different s and my nurs le would think y family, friend m op of pe e n ag ea m ur ’t co d dn The hearing aid di y grades starte cause I had a effort into it. M be tle st lit ju a t at th pu I e if iz real what to do ntinued doing ings I wanted co th I e th nd l A al i. sk do er and I could still ned how to wat y, but instead, my guitar. I lear ay pl to n r of my disabilit ga de in be I m re g. a in ov as impr that I was not my hearing aid longer think of ing aid to show ar no I he . r lo do co to w ve bo I lo n do en chose a rain ledge that I ca es to the know of courage. I ev r ey y de m in m ed re en a as s op ve the I can do it. I ha ft of courage ha gi ve is lie Th be it. d r an ea er ashamed to w elf a little hard I just push mys as ng lo as t, anything I wan else. s as everyone tie ni rtu po a disability the op e sam give kids with to t bu l, el w ke rs the same mista help make othe ey don’t make rse not only to th nu re a su e be ak to m t I wan . My goal is to best they can be e th same. be to e courag for I will do the s— m ea dr r ei th stead, chase as I did and in

Fall 2011 | 11

Questions &Answers

In Atlanta since January, Ami Klin, Ph.D., Director of Marcus Autism Center, is already hard at work implementing research studies and programs that can change the lives of thousands of children with autism and their families. Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the U.S., affecting one in 110 children nationally—and one in 98 in Georgia. Now, Dr. Klin shares his plans for the future, from the challenges of research to creating an entirely new method for treating children. You’ve been at Marcus Autism Center since early this year. What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far? Our biggest accomplishment has been reinvigorating a sense of purpose at Marcus Autism Center that values the impact of science on clinical care. In many ways, we have this

12 | smallwonders

enthusiastic notion that we should offer every child coming though the doors the opportunity to participate in research, bringing science from the lab directly into communities. If children participate in research, their communities will only gain from the benefits of science.

Clinician Peter Lewis controls the video feed for the eye-tracking technology.

What has been the biggest challenge? The biggest challenge has been to identify the most pressing priorities, sequentially and quickly, to keep our momentum. We need to prioritize our most important projects to attain tangible results. It is the challenge of the fortunate—we have too many enticing opportunities.

How are you bringing a more research-centered focus to Marcus Autism Center? We are introducing new procedures for patients so the data we collect can be used for advancing science. We recruited new talent and redeployed great talent already here—we’re changing practice patterns that impact a vast number of patients. We also are establishing a program for the early diagnosis and treatment of autism. It begins with our lab work at Marcus Autism Center and moves to the community, empowered by the extraordinary support of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. We aim to generate science that will create a new way to deliver healthcare to children with autism.

How is technology helping to diagnose children earlier?

A child watches the footage while her eye movements are tracked using infrared cameras.

Director of Research at Marcus Autism Center, and I are using eye-tracking technology we developed to test children younger than 6 months old. This will help us pinpoint the age that a child’s social development begins to change from that of a typically developing child. To date, our research suggests we can use that information to diagnose children earlier. The earlier the diagnosis, the sooner treatment starts and the better a child’s outcome will be.

About Marcus Autism Center Marcus Autism Center provides programs and services to children and families living with autism and related disorders. We are one of the largest and most comprehensive centers of our kind in the U.S. As a notfor-profit organization, Marcus Autism Center relies on your generosity to offer support for the families of our community, and to conduct important research toward earlier diagnosis and improved care. Visit to learn how you can support Marcus Autism Center.

We are comparing the eye movements of children with autism to those of typically developing children. Warren Jones, Ph.D.,

Fall 2011 | 13

amongfriends Thank you for being a Friend

This year, Friends has named the Children’s Emergency Departments and transport vehicles as part of its Friends Funding Goals. It’s because of Friends members and the community we can offer patients the specialized equipment they need, including: – Broselow Pediatric Emergency Tape, which gives staff lifesaving information about proper medication dosages and equipment sizes right at their fingertips – Pediatric cribs – Stretchers and other medical supplies for ground and air transport vehicles – Infant warmers to stabilize and maintain body temperature – Special equipment that allows

Dear Friends, It is an honor to serve the Friends organization alongside such wonderful volunteers and staff. Your hard work and dedication is admirable and makes a big difference to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. During the 2010-2011 fundraising year, we raised more than $2.2 million for Children’s. This was an incredible accomplishment for the approximately 5,000 Friends members from more than 30 groups who showed their dedication to Children’s. We have big goals for this year, but we can’t accomplish them without each and

staff to locate veins in even the

every one of you. Our financial goal is $2.2 million. We will continue to fund our

tiniest patients

annual commitments while focusing on Emergency Services. With an average of 550

As part of its ongoing fundraising goals, Friends also supports:

– The Friends Research Fund This fund supports clinical research at Children’s in areas such as cancer, cardiology and critical care. – Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit

patients every day, the Children’s Emergency Departments are among the busiest in the nation. Accidents, injuries and sudden illnesses happen every day, and because Children’s has the only two dedicated pediatric trauma centers in the state, lives are saved. Our community is grateful for the work Children’s does. Thank you for your continued dedication to Children’s. Your Friend,

These professional entertainers, funded

What is Friends?

solely by Friends, provide patients and families the healing power of humor during their clown rounds.

Dana Patton President Friends Board

Friends is the community volunteer organization at Children’s. There are more than 35 community Friends groups that support Children’s through volunteer opportunities, fundraising events and special service projects. Friends groups are usually formed by people who have a common bond—live in the same neighborhood, meet through schools, clubs or church. Visit to find a Friends group near you.

14 | smallwonders

Teaching kids to be generous It is never too early to start making a difference. The Generous Generation initiative engages children and teens in activities that teach the importance of community service and encourage lifelong volunteerism and philanthropy. There are several Generous Generation programs available that give your children the chance to help young patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. This year Generous Generation expanded to include Northside Youth Organization (NYO) baseball and softball and Atlanta Youth Lacrosse (AYL). Players showed their team spirit and collected coins for Children’s, generously raising more than $6,000 in the two-week competition. A special thank you to all of the players, coaches and team moms who participated.

Drive home your support of Children’s Is it time to renew your vehicle registration? This year, show your fellow drivers that you are a proud supporter of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta with a specially issued Children’s license tag. Go to for more information about purchasing a tag.

Your neighborhood can support Children’s Groups are spreading holiday cheer throughout the city by participating in the annual holiday Mailbox Brigade. Donations are collected and volunteers decorate mailboxes with locally donated fresh greenery adorned with red berries and a festive bow. An included tag lets your friends and neighbors know that your beautiful mailbox is benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. You can get your entire neighborhood involved in decorating and supporting Children’s. Many Friends groups, including Brookhaven, North Buckhead, Dunwoody, Hampton Farms, Roswell, Sandy Springs and Druid Hills/Decatur participated in 2010 and raised more than $55,000 for Children’s. Contact the Friends office at 404-785-7338 for more information or to participate.

Honoring our volunteers At the annual Friends Spring Luncheon in May, longtime volunteer Rebecca Becker was awarded the 2011 Miriam Harland Conant Award for her exemplary volunteer service to Children’s. Becker was especially honored for her continued work on the Friends Board Strategic Planning committee and her involvement in the Peachtree Battle Friends group. The prestigious award, instituted in 1993, was named in honor of Miriam Harland Conant. Better known as Bimby to those who loved her, Conant dedicated more than 60 years of service to Children’s, serving in virtually every volunteer leadership capacity, including 20 years as a member of the Hospital Board and then as a member of the Foundation Board—while never giving up her volunteer time spent in the hospital gift shop. Rebecca Becker and her husband, Eric

Bimby passed away in 2003, but her legacy continues through the special women, like Rebecca, honored each year with the Conant Award.

Fall 2011 | 15

friends around town Butterfly Release

Elf on the Shelf

Guests enjoyed the second annual

Join Santa, the elves of the North Pole and the

Butterfly Release Celebration in

creators of the best-selling Christmas book,

the Laurie Davis Webster Garden

The Elf on the Shelf, for the world premiere of

at Children’s at Egleston in May.

their 2011 animated Christmas spectacular.

Symbolizing hope, Children’s patients,

An Elf ’s Story will premiere Sunday, Nov. 20, at

families and supporters released

The Fox Theatre in Atlanta. The historic landmark

hundreds of Monarch butterflies.

will be transformed into Santa’s North Pole

RBM Gala Milton Friends and RBM of Atlanta North hosted the unveiling of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz models in August with an evening of food, live music, silent and live auctions, and special prizes.

workshop for a special day of festivities, including a candy cane carpet. All of the net proceeds from the event will benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Open from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., the winter wonderland will give children an opportunity to play in Santa’s workshop, indulge at the hot cocoa station, decorate delicious Christmas cookies, design their own keepsake ornaments, write letters to their family’s elf and take pictures with mascot elves.

Summer Sizzle The Summer Sizzle lived up to its name as

Help Friends reach 500 by fall

the hottest party in town. In August, guests

Connect with other volunteers of Children’s

danced the night away with music from

Healthcare of Atlanta by “liking” the Children’s

the Bradley Cole Smith Band. Pictured are,

volunteer Facebook page. Our goal is 500

from left, the chairs of the event: Tierney

Friends this year. Visit

Colativo, Mary Claire Blackshaw and

childrensvolunteers to get connected.

Virginia Seawell.

Hope and Will Tennis Challenge In May, participants served hope and

Waffle House Supports Marcus Autism Center

added love in support of Children’s

Waffle House is donating the proceeds from its

with spirited, friendly competition at

latest Waffle House Jukebox Favorites Vol. 2 to

the inaugural Hope and Will Tennis

Marcus Autism Center. This collection includes

Challenge in Atlanta and Alpharetta.

favorites such as Appetite for Life by Charles Langley, winner of their songwriting contest. Visit Amazon or iTunes to download it today. Starting Sept. 4, visit to buy a copy of the CD.

16 | smallwonders

mark your calendar dave-fm’s Big Show for Little Voices Radiothon gives the community an opportunity to make donations in support of the courageous families and staff at Children’s. Tune in to 92.9 FM Thursday, Nov. 3, through Saturday, Nov. 5, and be inspired by stories of hope and healing. Visit for more information and to make a donation. Holiday Card Sales Through December and Hope and Will’s Closet Consignment Sale Friday, Sept. 9, to Saturday, Sept. 10 Run for your Heart Fun Run Saturday, Sept. 17 BAPS Walkathon Sunday, Sept. 18 Motherhood the Musical Thursday, Sept. 22, to Sunday, Nov. 20 Jazz and Art from the Heart Saturday, Sept. 24

19th annual Spaghetti-A-Thon Saturday, Oct. 22 Party Atlanta Saturday, Oct. 22 Macy’s Pink Pig Thursday, Oct. 27 CIO Celebrity Poker Tournament and Casino Night Thursday, Nov. 3 Kids II Strong Legs Run Saturday, Nov. 5 FallFest with Friends Saturday, Nov. 5

Milton Friends Golf Tournament Monday, Sept. 26

Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show Monday, Nov. 7

Pulling for Kids Sporting Clays Tournament Thursday, Sept. 29

Chipper Jones Celebrity Golf Invitational Monday, Nov. 7

24 Hours of Booty Saturday, Oct. 1, to Sunday, Oct. 2

Elf on the Shelf movie premiere Sunday, Nov. 20

Taste of Peachtree Sunday, Oct. 9

Christmas on Peachtree Friday, Nov. 25, to Saturday, Dec. 31

Teddy Bear Crusade Friday, Dec. 2 31st annual Children’s Christmas Parade Saturday, Dec. 3 Taste of Dunwoody Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 Hope and Will Ball Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 Fin Fest Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 Tim Hudson–Chipper Jones Birdies and Baseball Sunday, Feb. 26, to Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012

Remember: Saturday, Dec. 31, is the last day to contribute to the Children’s 2011 fiscal year.

Visit for information about these and all events supporting Children’s.

Fall 2011 | 17

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation Inc. 1687 Tullie Circle NE Atlanta, GA 30329-2320 Please write to us if you no longer wish to receive fundraising requests from

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Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.


smallwonders Published by the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation, 1687 Tullie Circle NE, Atlanta, GA 30329-2320 l

Making Dreams Come True

By joining the Dream Society, you are investing in the future of Children’s. An annual gift of $5,000 or more qualifies you for many special opportunities, including recognition, Hope’s Circle and Will’s Club events, special behind-the-scenes tours and an invitation to the Annual Dream Society party. Visit or contact Kathy Hastings at 404-785-8946 to learn more. ©2011 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Inc. All rights reserved. STEW 9420821.cb.9/11

Small Wonders--Fall 2011  

A Publication for the Donors of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Small Wonders--Fall 2011  

A Publication for the Donors of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta