March 2017

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 2017
Volunteer Spolight: Meet Danny Diaz
Patient Spolight: Meet Scarlett
Save the Date: 2017 Celebrity Golf Classic - Hosted by Jermaine Dye
Thank you, Knights of Columbus!
Surgery Weekend Recap
February 2017
On Saturday, February 25, 2017, Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation provided five surgeries during its ninth Surgery Weekend. Surgeries took place at The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital. The procedures were performed on three children and two teenagers.

The surgeries performed included a breast reduction; frenectomy of the lingual frenulum; third-stage surgery for the removal of a hairy nevus; and two bilateral gynecomastia reduction liposuctions.

We are very grateful to our volunteer medical team, support staff, and The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital for their continuous support. Thank you, also, to WGN TV for the wonderful news coverage, which can be viewed here: Free surgeries provide a Fresh Start for kids in need.

Special thanks to our food sponsors, Breakfast House and Nando's Peri-Peri (Lakeview). We greatly appreciate your generous participation and support. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationships with you both during future Surgery Weekends. 
Upcoming Surgery Weekend Date: 
May 20-21, 2017
Volunteer Spotlight: Danny Diaz
We are delighted to introduce Danny Diaz as a member of our volunteer team. He has served as a full-time operating room nurse at The University of Chicago Medicine for 10 years .  When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his 18-year-old daughter and their two puppies; volunteering as a Disaster Response Team, Public Affairs Correspondent and Photojournalist for the American Red Cross; and working as a fashion and glamour photographer.
In 2014, Diaz learned about  The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital's  partnership with  Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation .  Immediately, he thought that it would be a terrific opportunity for him to become involved by documenting surgeries and improving his medical photography skills. His status as an operating room nurse allows him unique, "behind-the-screens" access to patients and medical personnel. He asserts, " My role is to document the feelings of the patients, their families, and medical staff through photography. I try to capture everyone's role and their emotions every time Surgery Weekends take place.  I believe that it's important that we show and share what we actually accomplish during these events." Diaz continues, "I always save the date when they do these surgeries because it is always fun, and I enjoy meeting new people."

Diaz is hopeful that Fresh Start will continue to grow, expand, and continue to transform the lives of children into adulthood. He states, " With the growing cost of medical expenses and the limitation of insurance coverage for plastic surgeries, this Foundation has helped so many children. We are blessed with the existence of Fresh Start, for many children in need have benefited from the provision of its services." Diaz concludes by stating, "To all of the staff and sponsors of Fresh Start, you are all angels in disguise. I'd like you all to know that you all have big hearts and are creating a lasting impact in the lives of deserving children. Thank you so much for your unwavering support and kindness."

On behalf of Fresh Start and our patients, we are incredibly grateful to have Danny Diaz as a member of our team.

Patient Spotlight: Scarlett
Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation  would like to introduce, 3-year-old Scarlett. She is a very compassionate and intuitive little girl, who enjoys spending time with friends and family. Scarlett loves the guitar and piano; she enjoys dancing and gymnastics; and she is obsessed with Halloween and Christmas.
Scarlett was born with a large congenital melanocytic nevus on her left forearm, which extends onto her hand. She also has less than five satellite lesions on other areas of her body. The nevus on her arm frequently contracts dermatitis, leading to infection of her hair follicles and dry, cracked skin. Prescription topical ointments, heavy moisturizers, sunscreen, long sleeves, and being subjected to unkind comments from strangers became "normal" aspects of Scarlett's daily life.

After enduring a long search for a hospital that would accept their health insurance and being unable to save enough money to pay out-of-pocket for Scarlett's surgery, her family was referred to Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation. Scarlett's mother states, "If we had not received help from Fresh Start, we would have either had to keep waiting until we could save the money to pay for surgery out-of-pocket or had to take out a personal loan and put off our hopes of purchasing a home."

Scarlett has undergone three surgeries performed by Fresh Start surgeons to remove her nevus, and she is now on the road to recovery from her most recent operation. Scarlett's family is eternally grateful for Fresh Start. Her mother states, "Fresh Start has forever changed our lives. It has taken a huge burden from our shoulders and is giving our baby girl the best possible future we can foresee. That peace of mind is worth more than gold."  

Save the Date: 2017 Celebrity Golf Classic - Hosted by Jermaine Dye


For more information about tickets and sponsorships, please visit http://celebrity-golf-classic2017.eventbrite.com/ .

 Thank you, Knights of Columbus!

 Fresh Start is excited to share that we had a very successful speaking engagement on January 19, 2017 with the Knights of Columbus Holy Rosary Council #4483 . We are grateful for their generosity and support. For more information about Knights of Columbus, please visit http://kofc4483.org/.


Fresh Start Surgical Gifts (based in San Diego, California) 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
*Proud winner of the Make It Better Foundation 2015 Philanthropy Award - Health & Wellness
Thank You for Your Interest in Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation

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. Thank you, again, for your interest and support! 

Follow and "Like" Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation on Facebook and Twitter

The Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation 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).

Save the Date!  

Upcoming Events 

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.

Surgery Weekend Dates

  • May 20-21, 2017 
  • September 30-October 1, 2017










Photography by Danny Diaz