Ariel Benjamin, our September 2016 “Calendar Kid,” enjoys Legos, video games and bike riding and hopes to be a computer programmer someday.
Ariel is one of many children in Central Virginia who come to CHoR for gastroenterology and nutrition services. Ariel has Crohn’s disease, a chronic condition that attacks the digestive system and causes painful stomach issues. Approximately 700,000 people in the United States are affected by Crohn’s and in need of ongoing treatment and medication. Most also eventually need surgery to conserve the digestive track.
Digestive problems are among the most common childhood ailments and CHoR provides the most comprehensive pediatric GI services in the region. Our GI team includes board-certified gastroenterologists, nurse practitioners, dietitians, nurses and a psychologist.
Ariel (pictured right) says his favorite CHoR memory is working with his infusion nurse, Cheryl. He has spent countless hours with her when receiving intravenous medication to help decrease intestinal inflammation related to Crohn’s and prevent flare-ups of the disease.
As part of advocacy efforts, CHoR has served as a sponsor for the Richmond Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis walk. We first met Ariel at the 2014 walk and invited him to be a part of our annual calendar. “CHoR is proud to sponsor community events that support our patients, families and local organizations,” said Shira Pollard, public relations and marketing manager at CHoR. “It’s also a great way for us to connect with families. When Ariel and his family approached our booth and shared their story, I thought his advocacy efforts and handsome smile would make him a great calendar kid.”
A very special thank you to Ariel for getting involved – both in supporting a cause close to home and in helping with CHoR’s educational calendar for families. (September’s calendar article focuses on childhood headaches.) We applaud your dedication to supporting outreach efforts and love your winning smile!