About For The Kids
UMass Amherst FTK
Baystate Children's Hospital provides advanced medical care to infants, children, and adolescents in an environment that focuses exclusively on the needs of children and families in the region. The facility provides complete critical care programs, including the region's only Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units, as well as pediatric inpatient services, child life specialists, an emergency room just for kids, and outpatient specialty services. As the only full-service accredited children’s hospital in the region, BCH also provides a comprehensive range of children’s primary care and sub-specialties, including diabetes, pulmonology, neurology, surgery, and cardiac services.
The mission of UMass FTK is to encourage collaboration between students, UMass Amherst and the Amherst community by working to raise awareness and funds for local patients and families of Baystate Childrens Hospital, in connection with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Through uplifting and interactive events we will foster a yearlong celebration for the kids. Together, we will change lives!
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.
Meet the newest Baystate Children's Hospital Champion Shane Perry. When Shane was born he was rushed into the Davis Neonatal Intensive Unit (NICU) where his parents were notified had Down syndrome. After several days in the NICU he was released to go home, where his parents learned to manage his at-home monitoring system and oxygen tanks with the helpful assistance of the NICU staff. Three months later Shane contracted RSV and was treated in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit while on a ventilator or fourteen days. "Baystate Children's Hospital saved by boy twice and I am forever grateful for them", says Shane's mother Jessica. Today, nine-year old Shane is doing well, as he raises awareness and supports other patients as the 2019 Children's Miracle Network Hospital Champion.
When seven year old Ben Manzi of Springfield was a toddler, he would routinely announce that “when I grow up, I’m going to be a superhero. For my disguise, I’ll be a doctor!” His mother, Kati, had no way of knowing that in a matter of years, Ben would need superhero strength in an unimaginable battle: cancer. Ben was diagnosed on December 4, 2015 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and immediately began a treatment regimen that includes different types of chemotherapy-including lumbar punctures, IV infusions, and at-home meds. Ben’s battle is continuing, and he will receive chemotherapy treatments for about three years. His family is focused on being positive, which serves to reaffirm Ben’s courage. Kati says he will often remind his family that “Leukemia is tough. But I’m tougher!”
At just two years old, Morgan was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “It started with a cold, then an ear infection that wouldn’t go away, she just kept getting more and more pale, weaker and sicker,” said Laura Morris, Morgan’s mother. “Her pediatrician said this wasn’t normal and sent her for blood work. It wasn’t 24 hours before she was admitted to Baystate Children’s Hospital and diagnosed with leukemia,” she added. On October 7 2013, after two-and-a-half years of chemotherapy, “Momo” received her last treatment and celebrated with her family. Today she is cancer-free and living life like a happy, healthy seven-year-old girl. Morgan spends her time caring for her cat, guinea pig and dog. Not unlike other little girls, she also loves playing princesses, sports, and riding horses.
Why We Dance
"I dance because every kid deserves a life full of joy and happiness!"
- Etana Handelman,
"I dance for every child I've met whose been stripped of their childhood and faced with an forgivable illness. They are my inspiration in life and the reason I am always FTK."
- Kaeli Armstrong, Mentor