Annual Radiothon listeners can test their trivia skills by answering how many times Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital patient Jeremy Keyser, 15, has been a guest on the 103.5 FM Cares for Kids Radiothon to help raise money for the hospital. For those counting, it’s six, soon to be seven. Jeremy, who was born with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and hydrocephalus, has spent so much of his time at the hospital, that he calls it his “medical home.”
Jeremy has always been a regular for speech, physical and occupational therapy and sees five physicians on a regular basis – everything from neurology to ophthalmology. Keeping his medications fine-tuned is a challenge for a growing, changing teenager, but Jeremy takes it all in stride. He enjoys his visits and—since he knows nearly everyone at the hospital—is used to being greeted like a rock star.
“The hardest part is the limited use of the right side of my body, mostly my right hand. But I have learned to adapt and work around this. I get through the tough times by trying to stay positive. I am motivated by praise and rewards, currently my trains,” he adds with a smile.
Jeremy, who completed all-day testing earlier this year with Johns Hopkins All Children’s new neuropsychologist, Jennifer Katzenstein, Ph.D., has hit a plateau with his traditional occupational, physical and speech therapies, so he now does a home program that was setup by his therapists. The in-depth testing provided by Dr. Katzenstein helped narrow down and diagnose a learning disability called ‘Non-Verbal Learning Disorder (NVLD.)’
Even though Jeremy is an Honor Roll student at school, he has to learn certain subjects like math in a non-standardized way. This diagnosis will help him get the specialized instruction he needs at school so that he can learn and work more independently in the future. Dr. Katzenstein also confirmed his sensory processing and anxiety diagnoses, which had been leading to an increase in seizure activity. “We are starting to talk about transitioning into adulthood with his treatments,” says Jeremy’s mom, Paula, who works and volunteers at the hospital.
Furthering the Cause
Jeremy helps to raise money for the hospital through various methods to help patients like himself receive treatment and programs not always covered by insurance. One of his favorites is participating in Radiothon.
“The Children’s Miracle Network and Radiothon help to secure donations to enhance the experience at the hospital for the kids,” Jeremy explains. “The things that make a difference are not typically funded or paid for by health insurance, but they have a huge impact on families.” Paula agrees. The two of them believe strongly in the funded programs that help make so much time spent at the hospital bearable.
“Thank you to everyone who helps make a difference for the children at Johns Hopkins All Children’s through Radiothon. Whether you are able to donate monetarily or with your time, it makes a big difference. Our family is committed to raising money for Johns Hopkins All Children’s.”
Tune in to Radiothon on December 1-2 and learn more on how you can help other kids like Jeremy.