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Courageous Children to be Honored at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital HeartThrob Ball

Annual event features Kool & the Gang; supports Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital Lerner School for Autism

March 1, 2012

Each year, Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital hosts the HeartThrob Ball to honor three pediatric patients who have demonstrated great character in overcoming a challenging obstacle in life.

The presentation of the Courage Awards at the 22nd Annual HeartThrob Ball will be Friday, May 4 at the Cleveland Public Auditorium, and will feature special guests Chairman Umberto Fedeli, musical group Kool & the Gang and Fox 8’s Stefani Schaefer as emcee.

At last year's HeartThrob Ball, donors raised $100,000 for a pediatric cancer playroom at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus. This year, proceeds will help build a room for the preschool program at the Lerner School for Autism. Donations can also be made online.

This year’s Courage Award recipients include:

Jose Dybzinski, 15, of Cleveland—Facing a slew of complex health problems, Jose was in and out of the Cleveland Clinic’s Children’s Hospital for a year. In 2012, he was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, developmental delays, leukemia, renal failure and chronic pancreatic cysts. He suffered adverse reactions to treatments, resulting in the need for dialysis three times a week.

Despite his medical issues, Jose is a consummate optimist. He greets every day with a smile, seeking the positive in every situation and cherishing each encounter he has with others. When he was restricted to his patient room because of an infection, he refused to let boredom consume his day, strapping on a pedometer and walking laps around his room. His positivity is infectious and his confidence admired by all he meets.

Gabrielle (Gabe) Boylan, 18, of Hudson—Gabe’s kind and happy demeanor despite a difficult childhood is nothing short of amazing. Adopted from Russia when she was 10 months old, she suffered through surgery to correct a club foot and to remove a tumor from her left eye. At the age of three, she was diagnosed with autism and mental retardation. As she grew, Gabe struggled with kidney stones, kidney infections, diabetes and a number of orthopedic surgeries.

At 12, Gabe was hospitalized and enrolled in the Lerner School for Autism. Although her ascent into adulthood has been challenging, Gabe’s joyful personality shines through. A social young lady, she has an incredible ability to recall minute details about everyone she meets. When reconnecting with someone, Gabe gives genuine compliments, noticing changes such as a hair cut or new eyewear. Reflecting the passion and dignity embodied in the Lerner School, Gabe has been recognized as the school ambassador.

Jaime Bradford, 17, of Strongsville—Jaime has endured a great deal in her young life. Adopted from Russia as an infant, Jaime had her heart repaired at the age of three. Fourteen years later, Jaime came to Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital in critical condition. In need of a heart and double lung transplant, Jaime was placed on emergency ECMO and life support within 72 hours of admission. Miraculously, Jaime received the organs she so urgently needed. Jaime has been recognized by her doctors as a strong individual and is recovering well from her surgeries.

About Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital
Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital is a hospital-within-a-hospital for the Cleveland Clinic health system and offers full medical, surgical and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents. Children’s Hospital supports 126 acute care beds at Cleveland Clinic's main campus and 284 pediatric beds system wide; in addition, pediatric services are available at 10 family health centers in Northeast Ohio. A staff of 300 full-time pediatricians and sub-specialists see more than 500,000 pediatric visits each year and provide hospital care for an average of 218 children per day. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit, multi-specialty academic medical center integrating clinical care, research and education. It was founded in 1921 by four physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation.