Chicago Newsletter
November 2014

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
Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation Gives Kids a Fresh Start during Second Surgery Weekend
Patient Spotlight: Tristan
Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Julie Park
Party with a Purpose: A Celebration of The Plastic Surgery Foundation and the Fresh Start Partnership was a Big Success!

A Message from our
Chicago Regional Director
 
   

As a mother of two young children, I could not imagine not being able to provide them with the medical care they need to ensure they are able to live healthy lives, free from physical deformities. Unfortunately, this is a reality faced by far too many families.

 

When I assumed the reins of Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation five months ago, I knew that the expansion of Fresh Start's brand and services to the Chicago area would be a great (but tremendously rewarding) task. I understood there was a huge need for our services. Never did I imagine, though, that I would meet so many dedicated and generous people in such a short period of time---people who are genuinely interested in doing all within their power to ensure that Fresh Start is able to grow and thrive in the Chicago area.

 

Thank you for joining us on this journey. This will be one of the most amazing experiences in which you will ever partake. Transforming lives, one surgery at a time---What could be more fulfilling than that?

 

As you read the articles contained in this and future correspondence from Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation, it is my hope that our mission continues to resonate with you. Rest assured that your contributions (be them time, financial, or both) are immensely appreciated. On behalf of the children we serve, thank you for your support.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Utica J. Gray, PhD, MSHSA, BA

Chicago Regional Director

Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation

  
Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation Gives Kids a Fresh Start during Second Surgery Weekend
    

Our second Surgery Weekend proved to be a fantastic weekend for patients and their families! Seven children received surgeries at the University of Chicago Medical Center's Comer Children's Hospital on October 25, 2014. Surgeries were performed on infants, children, and teens who suffer from physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse, or disease. We are grateful for our amazing volunteer medical team, support staff, and volunteers who helped to make the event a great success.

 

In addition, we would like to thank our celebrity spokesperson, Jermaine Dye (Chicago White Sox, 2005 World Series, MVP), for attending Surgery Weekend and lifting the spirits of patients, their families, and volunteers. His presence set such a pleasant tone for everyone in attendance. Mr. Dye is a great supporter and friend of Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation and will be hosting a Celebrity Golf Classic in Chicago next summer to benefit the organization.

 

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.

     

 

Lastly, thank you to CBS Radio and Comcast Sports for providing media coverage of the event to listeners and viewers.


 

CBS Radio: http://cbsloc.al/1yzgPC3


 

Comcast Sports: http://www.csnchicago.com/video_content_type/dye-visits-comer-childrens-hospital


 

Upcoming Surgery Weekend Dates


 

February 28- March 1, 2015

June 6 - June 7, 2015

October 24 - October 25, 2015

      
        

Patient Spotlight: Tristan

   

Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation would like to introduce 17-year-old Tristan. Tristan is a high school senior who enjoys creating art, drawing, and inventing new cartoon characters. In addition to being very creative, he likes to play basketball and video games with friends and spend time with his family.

 

Tristan's family was introduced to Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation after he survived an accident with a moving train. According to Tristan, "I fell from a moving train. I was in a coma with a fractured skull, bruised brain, and broken bones around my neck. No one was sure that I was going to live. I injured much of my face and damaged one eye. I had a lot of scars that made my appearance much different." On October 25, 2014, Dr. Russell Reid, Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation's Inaugural Medical Director and highly-skilled surgeon, performed facial scar revision and vermillion reconstruction. Tristan states, "A lot of my scars were revised and my upper lip was reconstructed since part of my lip was missing. I now have a complete smile again!"

 

Tristan remains thankful for his experience with Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation. He is recovering well from the procedure. He is excited about his future, especially graduating from high school. He shares, "I'm not sure what we would have done without Fresh Start - I really don't. I probably wouldn't have had any good options and may have had to live with my scars. Now I don't have to, and I'm so glad and appreciative of that! It hasn't been that long since surgery, but I already feel so much better about myself. All I can say is 'Thank you for what you do.'"

 

Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation is thrilled to assist in providing a new beginning for Tristan, and we look forward to hearing about all of the amazing things he will accomplish in the near future.

 

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Julie Park

 

Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation is honored to have Dr. Julie E. Park as a volunteer surgeon. Dr. Park serves as Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She has expertise in reconstructive microsurgery and breast reconstruction. She also specializes in perforator flap breast reconstruction, which is only performed at a few dedicated centers nationwide. Since attending Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completing her residency at the prestigious educational institution, Dr. Park has remained dedicated to women's health. Her diligence towards improving the quality of life of women who have suffered from breast cancer as well as her performance and research of reconstructive surgeries has garnered numerous accolades from her colleagues within the medical field. Dr. Park is excited to work with Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation, and we are thrilled to welcome her as a member of our volunteer medical team.

 

Although Dr. Park has a deep interest in women's issues, she also has compassion for children and teens who are in need of reconstructive surgeries. In 2006, Dr. Park participated in a medical mission trip to Columbia. While in Columbia, she realized that she really had a passion for helping others. Assisting others abroad prevented her from being with her growing family, which was very difficult for the surgeon. In 2007, she returned to Chicago and started working for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

 

Dr. Park's commitment to helping others and compassion towards disadvantaged children and teens makes her a wonderful addition to our volunteer medical team. According to Dr. Park, "Working with Fresh Start allows me to help kids in our neighborhood and fulfills my desire to help, while integrating that desire with my family life." October 25-26, 2014 marked Dr. Park's first Surgery Weekend with the organization. Dr. Park performed a bilateral gynecomastia procedure on a teenage boy. Her sensitivity towards the case made her the perfect surgeon to complete the procedure. She states, "Having breasts as a boy usually adds anxiety and embarrassment at one of the most crucial times during one's development. Unfortunately, most insurance providers will not cover this type of procedure, but it significantly contributes to the development of teen boys. After the procedure, boys usually become more active, more athletic; they start to lose weight; and participate in teen sports. I think this type of procedure really helps boys to build confidence in themselves."

 

As a result of her positive experience with Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation, Dr. Park encourages others to become involved with the organization and looks forward to continuing her own involvement. "People need to know about this organization. They need to know the organization exists," says Dr. Park. Her participation with Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation reminds her of the feeling she felt during her medical mission trip to Columbia, and she is very happy to be able to provide similar services to children and teens much closer to her family. She conveys, "It makes me really happy to do something like this. It's an honor. You feel so good afterwards. People can help this organization through donating resources, time, and money."

 

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, 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!

 

  

Upcoming Events

  • Celebrity Golf Classic Sponsor Cocktail Reception on Thursday, February 26, 2015 at an undisclosed location
  • 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 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.

Party with a Purpose: A Celebration of The Plastic Surgery Foundation and the Fresh Start Partnership was a Big Success!

On Monday, October 13, 2014, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons hosted a wonderful evening featuring a cocktail buffet and bar, numerous fundraising activities, and entertainment by Fifty Amp Fuse to benefit Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. Over $25,000 was raised at the event to benefit The Plastic Surgery Foundation and Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation in Chicago.

 

We are appreciative to everyone who attended the event, including our celebrity guests: former Chicago White Sox players, Dan Pasqua and Ron Kittle; former Chicago Blackhawks player, Tony Esposito; and former San Diego Charger, Bob Brasher.

  

To view more pictures from the event, please click the link below.

http://fivelakearts.com/2014/fresh_start/ 

 

Thank you to our event sponsors:

 
 

   
 

    
 

     
 
    
 
Mr. Michael D. Costelloe    
 
Mr. Keith Hume, Ms. Gina McClure, & Mr. Mark Espinosa
 
Scot Bradley Glasberg, MD
 
Robert X. Murphy, Jr., MD
 
Michael E. Reed, Esq.
 
David H. Song, MD
 
Nicholas Vedder, MD
 
Charles N. Verheyden, MD, FACS, PhD 
 
  
 
 
  
  
 
  
  
 
  
  
 
  
  
 
  
 
 

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
(844) 374-5437