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Marlee is our 2016-17 Ind. Champion


In the words of her idol, Taylor Swift, Marlee knows how to “shake it off.”

Marlee was born missing nine of 12 ribs on her right side, causing severe scoliosis and an abnormally small right lung, leaving her unable to breathe on her own. At 10 days old, she had her first of 19 surgeries, a tracheotomy. In total, Marlee spent six months at the hospital before being discharged.

Marlee has surgery every four to six months to adjust her Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Ribs (VEPTR). The VEPTR help stabilize Marlee’s spine and separate her ribs, allowing her lungs to expand as she grows.

Marlee’s prognosis is good and she will continue to have surgeries and follow-up visits for the rest of her life. She “shakes off” any physical restrictions and enjoys climbing on monkey bars, attending gymnastics classes and jumping on the trampoline.


How donations helped Marlee at Riley Hospital for Children:  

Several specialty areas at her member CMN Hospital treat Marlee, including the pulmonology and urology departments. CMN Hospitals donations helped her hospital attain the fourth-ranked pediatric urology department nationally in 2015 according to U.S. News & World Report.