April 28, 1994
Media Contact:Debbie Bangledorf
Phone: (410) 223-1731
Ashley Wall and Brian Swatek will represent all Hopkins pediatric patients at the llth annual Children's Miracle Network Telethon to benefit the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. The Telethon will air from 9 p.m., June 4, to 6 p.m., June 5 on NewsChannel 2.
Ashley, who is 9 and lives in Columbia, was diagnosed in 1992 with acute myelocytic leukemia. Six months after coming to the Children's Center, she received a bone marrow transplant from her brother, Jonathan, who was then 5. She had just celebrated a year in remission when her white count climbed high again and her remission ended. At press time, Ashley was back on chemotherapy and awaiting a second transplant.
While the news of another fight against her leukemia was discouraging, the Wall's remained confident in the staff of the Children's Center. "Thank God they were here to help us through this," says Evelyn Wall, Ashley's mother.
A third-grader at Dasher Green Elementary School who enjoys telling jokes, Ashley is delighted to be an Ambassador. "I know what it's like to be sick. I want to be able to raise money to help kids just like me," she says.
Brian, who is 9 and from Bel Air, had surgery at the Children's Center to remove a tumor on the adrenal gland covering his left kidney. It was benign so no chemotherapy or radiation were required. Today, Brian sees a multi-specialty team at the Children's Center, including physicians in pediatric dermatology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, genetics, oncology, pediatric surgery and the Wilmer Eye Institute.
Brian is not shy about his illness, or many other things. He loves basketball, baseball, swimming, and reading. The redhead screen-tested for a part in the movie "A Perfect World" with Kevin Costner and Clint Eastwood. He didn't get the part, but says he's satisfied with the role of Telethon Ambassador.
"When I was in the hospital, I saw the other children who had problems, and I felt sad. I'm real glad to be the Ambassador so I can help the children," he says.
Brian is a third-grader at Ring Factory Elementary School.
The Johns Hopkins Children's Center is the pediatric hospital of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Maryland's only comprehensive acute-care hospital for children, the Center, with its 193-bed hospital and more than 40 divisions and services, treats 7,000 inpatients and more than 90,000 outpatients annually.