Shands patient named 2014 Children’s Miracle Network Champion

The Children’s Miracle Network has named a boundlessly energetic kindergartener and UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital patient 2014’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Florida Champion.

Nathan Ferrell was diagnosed just before his first birthday with mitochondrial disease, which attacks the body’s cellular power generators. He has had several operations and implants to address digestive issues and carries an oxygen tank in a backpack that allows him to breathe properly.

As the Champion, Nathan will serve as the fundraising and awareness ambassador for UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, the state of Florida and all children treated at the 170 Children’s Miracle Network member hospitals. His role will be to demonstrate the significance of donated funds to treatment, recovery and charitable care, and this fall he will join Champions from other states for ambassador trips to Orlando and Washington, D.C.

“CMN couldn’t have chosen a more suitable patient to represent Florida as its CMN Champion,” said Dr. Scott Rivkees, chairman of pediatrics. “Nathan has always been our local community champion, touching the lives of everyone he meets; he is truly deserving of this recognition at the national level.”

“He’s so full of life, and always smiling,” said Nathan’s father Jason. “Our hope is that Nathan can continue to grow and inspire others the way he’s inspired us.”

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