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Myles, 6

Chesterfield | Services: Pulmonary Medicine

Staying Active

When Myles Gebhardt was born, his parents, Rob and Stacy, had no idea that the routine blood work done for all babies born in Virginia would uncover anything unusual. When the report came back with an abnormal result three weeks after his birth, Myles was referred to Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU where a pulmonologist, Dr. Joel Schmidt, confirmed a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects the lungs and digestive system.

“From the first person we met, everyone at the hospital was so supportive,” says Stacy, remembering the stressful days immediately following Myles’ diagnosis. “Before he was a month old, we were feeding him medication mixed in with apple sauce.”

Myles’ therapies have evolved over the years and included participation in a successful clinical trial for a medication designed to help children with his specific gene mutation. Rob and Stacy credit the hospital with putting the entire family at ease and helping to encourage Myles during his appointments. Today, the active six-year-old has been successfully gaining weight and loves spending as much time outside as possible, hiking or playing basketball, baseball, and soccer.

“It’s a lot for a little kid to go through, but the hospital makes it as easy as possible,” Rob says. “Our biggest challenge is trying to slow him down. Myles is our little social butterfly. He doesn’t know a stranger.”

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