Newsletter
March 2015 

  
Our Mission

The mission of Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation is to transform the lives of disadvantaged infants, children, and teens suffering from physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse, or disease through the gift of reconstructive surgery and related healthcare services.
  
In This Issue
Surgery Weekend Recap - February 2015
Patient Spolight: Skylar
Volunteer Spotlight: David Song, MD, MBA
Join Us at Journey to Greece: A Culinary & Cultural Experience
Join Us at Our Inaugural Celebrity Golf Classic, Hosted by Jermaine Dye (Chicago White Sox, 2005 World Series MVP)
Attention Businesses and Companies: Fresh Start Needs Your Help!
Surgery Weekend Recap
February 2015
  
Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation provided much-needed surgeries to six deserving children during its third Surgery Weekend, which took place at the end of February 2015. Surgeries
 took place at The University of Chicago Medical Center's Comer Children's Hospital. The procedures were performed on infants, children, and teens who suffer from physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse, or disease. Due to the dedication our amazing volunteer medical team, support staff, and volunteers, this Surgery Weekend was a terrific experience for patients and their families. We would like to extend an additional thanks to our Celebrity Ambassador, Jermaine Dye (Chicago White Sox, 2005 World Series MVP). Your continuous support is greatly appreciated. 
   
 
  
Special thanks to our food sponsors, Corner Bakery Cafe and A10. We greatly appreciate your generous donation of breakfast and lunch, respectively. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationships with you both during future Surgery Weekends. 
  
 
  

In addition, we had tremendous media interest in Surgery Weekend! We would like to thank the following networks for providing coverage of the event. Your support is greatly appreciated!

 

WGN

 

WBBM-Radio

 

Comcast Sports

 

WSCR 670 The Score

 

Univision

 

FOX

 

NBC

 

 

Upcoming Surgery Weekend Dates 

June 6 - June 7, 2015

October 24 - October 25, 2015

Patient Spotlight: Skylar

  
Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation is excited to introduce 8-year-old Skylar. Skylar is incredibly outgoing, active and smart. Her hobbies include gymnastics, ballet, reading, acting, and shopping. In addition, she has a fondness for being outdoors. During warmer months, she plays tennis and she is an active member of an organization called Girls on the Run, where she completes a 5k twice a year.

 

Skylar's family was introduced to Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation by a family member and employee from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Since birth, Skylar has endured a special type of congenital nevus in her scalp called a Sebaceous Nevus. Although this condition may appear as a bald spot, it is a condition that should be treated. Without medical attention, the Sebacous Nevus has a 10% risk of converting to a malignancy. Over the past several years, Skylar's Sebaceous Nevus has increased in size, changed colors and occasionally bleeds. Consequently, this condition has also socially impacted her life. She has experienced discomfort in public; teasing from her peers; and often feels obligated to explain her condition to others. Skylar and her family are thrilled that she had the opportunity to receive a surgery that will eliminate these negative health and social experiences.

 

During Surgery Weekend, Skylar underwent a revision of her scalp scar, which will get rid of the non-hair bearing skin patch in the scalp and unite hair bearing skin. Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation's Medical Director and Surgeon, Dr. Russell Reid, recommended the procedure and feels that this surgery will have a very positive medical and social impact on Skylar's future. According to Dr. Reid, "Ridding Skylar of the scar will rid her of the stigma of her disease and the past. Socially, it is important for a young girl to have good hair coverage and not a patch of unsightly skin in her scalp that will make her a subject of criticism and ridicule in front of her peers." He continues, "Skylar is yet another example of a child with a deformity who beats the odds both medically and socially due to her inner strength. She proves to me how resilient children are--they are the true heroes in our society."

 

Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation is very honored to have helped such an amazing girl receive a fresh start. We are excited to hear about the new experiences and memories Skylar will create post-surgery.

 

 

Volunteer Spotlight: David Song, MD, MBA  

  
Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation is excited to introduce David H. Song, MD, MBA. For the last 10 years, Dr. Song has become a prominent leader and an internationally-recognized surgeon. As a highly-trained expert in plastic surgery and reconstructive microsurgery, Dr. Song is truly an asset to The University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC). At UCMC, Dr. Song serves as Cynthia Chow Professor of Surgery, Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery. He has vast experience with breast reconstruction and oncoplastic surgery--a combination of lumpectomy and reconstructive techniques, perforator breast reconstruction procedures, including deep inferior epigastric perforator flap (DIEP), superior gluteal artery perforator flap (SGAP), superficial inferior epigastric artery flap (SIEA), and thoracodorsal artery perforator flap (TAP).

 

In addition, Dr. Song was incredibly instrumental in the development of the partnership between Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation and The University of Chicago Medicine (UCM). Two years ago, Dr. Song met with the CEO of Fresh Start Surgical Gifts - San Diego, Shari Brasher, to discuss the organization and work towards expanding Fresh Start into the Chicagoland area. With the help of Dr. Song, Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation had its first surgery weekend at the UCM Comer Children's Hospital in June 2014. Shari remains grateful to Dr. Song for his assistance with the expansion and partnership with UCM. She states, "His charitable heart and dynamic personality played a key role in getting this program into Chicago. Without his determination and influential contacts, we would never be here!"

 

As a father of three daughters, Dr. Song's commitment and compassion towards children is tremendously evident. In addition to his involvement with Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation, Dr. Song serves on the board of Medical Aid for Children of Latin America (MACLA), an organization that provides free surgical care for children with congenital deformities in the Dominican Republic. His genuine interest towards employing his skills to assist children was influential to his involvement with Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation. Dr. Song states, "It's great to be able to assist children, especially in your own back yard. We partner with Fresh Start as a vehicle to help kids who have fallen through the cracks between insurance coverage. Plastic surgery is all about giving back and it is really a privilege to help these children. I feel that I gain so much from this experience."

 

We are truly grateful for Dr. Song's willingness to offer his talents, expertise and assistance with establishing Fresh Start in Chicago. Through Dr. Song's generosity and the generosity of our other medical professionals and volunteers, Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation will continue to make a lasting impact in the lives of children with deformities for many years to come.

 

 

Join Us at Journey to Greece: A Culinary & Cultural Experience
  
 
  
Tickets can be purchased at  journeytogreece.eventbrite.com. Sponsorship and advertisement opportunities are available. Contact Utica J. Gray, PhD, at 847-513-3326 or Utica@FreshStart.org for more information.

 

Join Us at Our Inaugural Celebrity Golf Classic, Hosted by Jermaine Dye
( Chicago White Sox, 2005 World Series MVP)
 
  

 Tickets can be purchased at http://celebrity-golf-classic.eventbrite.com.

Please contact Shari Brasher, CEO & Executive Director of Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, at ShariBrasher@freshstart.org or (760) 944-7774; or Utica J. Gray, PhD, Chicago Regional Director of Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation, at Utica@freshstart.org or (847) 513-3326 for more details about the event or to become a sponsor.  

Are you looking for ways to get your company or business involved in making a lasting impact in the lives of children?

 

 

Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation is working very hard to build awareness and support among companies and businesses, so we are in need of your help.

 

Here are a few ways your company or business can become involved:

 

* Sponsor a Surgery Weekend
Surgery Weekends provide a fresh start to disadvantaged infants, children, and teens suffering from physical deformities, abuse or accidents. Fresh Start hosts three Surgery Weekends each year. Medical treatments are provided at The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital by an all-volunteer team of surgeons and medical professionals. Each Surgery Weekend costs approximately $8,500.

 

* Host a cocktail reception or holiday event to benefit the organization
This is a fantastic opportunity to mix and mingle for a cause! Our team would love to work with your company or business to host a low-cost event to benefit our organization.
  
* Friday Jeans Day
This option allows employees to wear jeans in exchange for submitting a donation to benefit Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation. This partnership may last for one Friday, one month, or an entire year.  

 

We are hopeful that you will consider becoming involved with Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation. With your help, we can continue to transform the lives of children---one surgery at a time.

  

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts (based in San Diego, California) has teamed up with The Plastic Surgery Foundation to create Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation in Chicago. The addition of the Chicago site is enabling the organization grow its patient base and outreach. Surgeries are performed three times per year at The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital.

 
Fresh Start Caring for Kids Foundation
c/o The Plastic Surgery Foundation
444 E. Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
  
Thank You for your Interest in Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation!
  
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We are very grateful to all of our generous donors, sponsors, and volunteers! All of the overhead and administrative expenses for Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation are covered by Fresh Start Surgical Gifts and The Plastic Surgery Foundation, so that 100% of every donation directly benefits the medical needs of our patients.

 

Please contact Utica J. Gray, PhD, Chicago Regional Director of Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation, at Utica@freshstart.org or (847) 513-3326 for more information about upcoming Surgery Weekends, to volunteer, or to make a donation. If you are interested in making a donation online, please use the Paypal "donate" button above.

 

With your help, we can continue to transform the lives of children and their families. Thanks again for your interest and support! 

  
Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation has a NEW Website!
 

Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation has a brand new website! Our new website (www.freshstartkids.org) is a fantastic resource for information about our medical services, applications for prospective patients, upcoming events and Surgery Weekend dates, and volunteer opportunities. We are very excited to share our website with you.

 

Please "like" us on Facebook (Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation) and follow us on Twitter (@FreshStartKids).

 

We look forward to having you visit our new site!

 
Save the Date!  

Surgery Weekend Dates

  • June 6 - June 7, 2015
  • October 24 - October 25, 2015

Upcoming Events

  • Journey to Greece: A Culinary & Cultural Experience on Thursday, June 25, 2015 at The National Hellenic Museum
  • Pre-Celebrity Golf Classic Event on Sunday, August 30, 2015 at Lucky Strike Chicago
  • Inaugural Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic - Hosted by Jermaine Dye (Chicago White Sox, 2005 World Series MVP) on Monday, August 31, 2015 at The Beverly Country Club

Please contact Utica J. Gray, PhD, Chicago Regional Director of Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation, at Utica@freshstart.org

or (847) 513-3326 for more details about the event or to become a sponsor.

 

 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
  
 
   
 
    
 
    
 
    
 
    
 
    
 
    
 
    
 
Photography provided by Danny Diaz. Thanks, Danny!