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Fundraising Walk, Family Fun Day For Maria Fareri Children's Hospital

Ambassadors for this Sunday's walk and family fun day for Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, from left to right, Joy Degl, 6, of Mahopac; Jose "Armani" Curet, 11, of Sleepy Hollow; and Adriana Pratt, 8, of Danbury.
Ambassadors for this Sunday's walk and family fun day for Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, from left to right, Joy Degl, 6, of Mahopac; Jose "Armani" Curet, 11, of Sleepy Hollow; and Adriana Pratt, 8, of Danbury. Photo Credit: Provided

The 14th annual Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day is this Sunday, Sept. 16 at Macy Oval, adjacent to the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital on the Westchester Medical Center campus and marks the largest fundraiser for the hospital.

The annual event also celebrates the health and fortitude of its remarkable patients.

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network and the children’s hospital for the Hudson Valley and Fairfield County, has named three inspiring former patients –– Jose “Armani” Curet, 11, of Sleepy Hollow; Joy Degl, 6, of Mahopac; and Adriana Pratt, 8, of Danbury, as ambassadors for this year's event -- representing the more than 30,000 seriously ill and injured pediatric patients cared for each year by Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.

The fundraiser attracts thousands of former patients, families, staff and supportive community members from around the region.

Following a casual one-mile walk around the hospital’s campus – the event’s signature procession led by the ambassadors – participants will enjoy a morning filled with fun activities for the whole family.

Sometimes, Armani Curet forgot entire parts of his day. At first Armani’s doctors thought he had a brain tumor, but an MRI at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital revealed that Armani had a rare condition called an ateriovenous malformation, a tangle of abnormal blood vessels in the brain.

Joy Degl’s story is a triumph over extreme prematurity and complex medical challenges. She was born at 23 weeks and weighed a mere one pound, four ounces. Today, Joy is a happy, healthy preschooler.

Just three days after she was born, Adriana Pratt was diagnosed with a rare, potentially fatal congenital heart condition: Tetralogy of Fallot, distinguished by four defects in the heart’s structure. Known as “blue baby syndrome” because the baby’s skin has a bluish tint from a lack of oxygen, the only cure is open-heart surgery.

To learn more about the Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day, including how community members can participate and support advanced pediatric healthcare in the region, click here.

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