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Third Pediatric Conference

Below are a couple of videos and photo slide shows from the Third Pediatric Conference. This year’s conference was June 12-14, 2008 in Cincinnati, OH. Aaron (who is the inspiration behind and I had a wonderful time. Rich stayed home with Eric and Anthony, as they don’t travel very well. That said, I was amazed by the many families who managed to bring their trach kids to the conference. One mom drove all the way from Florida with her son who uses a power wheelchair and is ventilator dependent. Another family had 4 kids including a newborn, another brought 6 kids, including 4 with special needs.

In addition to the many interesting speakers and vendors, we had lots of fun! Thursday night we rented the entire Newport Aquarium and had the whole place to ourselves. Friday night was the “Gala”; a wonderful dinner, music and dancing. Saturday we went to the Cincinnati Zoo. There was lots of fun for the kids, including Build-a-Bear, face painting and a magician.

We came home tired, but had a great time, lots of fun, learning and networking. Special thanks to our conference coordinator Ann Schrooten! Below is a video that Ann put together that was shown at the Friday night Gala:

Aaron’s speech:


US News & World Report

Aaron’s Tracheostomy Page was mentioned in this week’s issue of US News & World Report:

Parents and other caregivers, after all, are the most motivated to pour their hope and energy into the hunt. Aaron’s Tracheostomy Page ( is run by Cynthia Bissell, a registered nurse and mother of three disabled children in Grafton, Mass. Aaron, a twin who is now 14, had developed scar tissue in his airway as a premature newborn, related to steps taken to support his lungs. After that, he needed a permanent hole in his windpipe—a tracheostomy—to help him breathe. Bissell found no online resources to help her manage her son’s “trache” day to day, so she launched the site. It has the information she was looking for, as well as a medical glossary and links to other resources. And the site hosts bustling message boards where participants boost one another’s spirits and ask for advice; parents recently debated two approaches to trachea reconstruction. “It has been part of my therapy for the last 10 years,” says Bissell.

Read full article here: “When a Child Truly Needs the Best