Conquering Chiari

These purple and orange bracelets were given to the family from Beaumont's neuroscience department in support of this important day.

These purple and orange bracelets were gifts to the family from Beaumont’s neuroscience department in support of this important day. Purple is the official color of chiari awareness.

The VanBaak family woke up this morning knowing that not one, but two of their children would be undergoing surgery today. Parker, 5, and Zoey, 7, were both diagnosed with chiari malformation and are undergoing chiari decompression surgeries one right after another.

Chiari malformation is a neurological disorder where the bottom part of the brain, the cerebellum, descends out of the skull and crowds the spinal cord, putting pressure on both brain and spine.

Their surgeon, Dr. Holly Gilmer, medical director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Beaumont, believes that having both children in recovery at the same time will cause less stress on the family than scheduling the surgeries on different days.

While the family sits anxiously in the waiting area, they’ve been visited by members of the Southeastern Michigan Chiari Support Group throughout the day. Bronx, one of the support group’s therapy dogs, also spent time with the family to alleviate some stress.

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One thought on “Conquering Chiari

  1. Amanda Kelenski says:

    Dr Gilmer has hands of an angel she is a spectacular Doctor!!

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