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Putting CJ on the Path to Recovery

150 Years Stronger Patient Story CJ during his time at Children's National.

CJ got off the school bus that cold February day and headed home. He slipped on an icy sidewalk and hit his head. “Twelve hours later at Children’s National Hospital, we learned he had a brain tumor,” his mom, Beth says.

CJ, then 13, had been looking forward to spring soccer, but now had a schedule full of appointments—some overnight, plus testing and imaging over four long months before he could have surgery. “Brilliant and caring medical professionals supported us every step of the way,” Beth recalls. “From little things like wheeling CJ out to the Healing Garden for fresh air, to major moments like updating us during his nearly 7-hour surgery, the doctors and nurses made this nightmare bearable.”

Recovery from surgery required CJ to miss 43 days of school, sports, camp, birthday parties and bike riding. He lost some peripheral vision, but otherwise he has made a remarkable comeback. He used his recovery time to raise money for Children’s National — selling shaved ice, pizza and baked goods to friends, family and neighbors eager to support the cause.

CJ shared his story with the entire student body at his middle school to raise money for Children’s National — more than $17,000. “I wanted to help out,” CJ says, “to make sure other kids can get the same great care I did.”