Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Transplant Recipient Named Children’s Miracle Network “Champion” for 2012

August 22, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - August 22, 2012 - Luke Maeding, who received a double-lung transplant at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, has been named the 2012 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® Pennsylvania Champion. Luke will serve throughout the year as an ambassador for Children’s Hospital and will represent all sick and injured children in the state of Pennsylvania.

Each year, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ (CMNH) Champions program celebrates a child from every state and Canada who has bravely battled a serious injury or illness. The Champions and their families will travel to Washington, D.C. and Orlando, Fla. next month to share their inspiring stories and the important work going on at children’s hospitals with congressional leaders, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ corporate partners and the media.

“Luke is an amazing young man who inspires everyone he comes in contact with at Children’s Hospital. We’re humbled to have him represent us and all of our patient families as the 2012 Champion of Pennsylvania,” said Greg Barrett, president,Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. “We’re also proud to partner with a tremendous organization like CMNH that is focused on working with children’s hospitals around the country to give as many children as possible opportunities like Luke has had.”

Born prematurely at only 26 weeks, Luke’s tiny lungs never developed enough to support his body as he grew. By age 8, Luke was bound to a wheelchair, requiring oxygen and respiratory support around the clock. After years of unsuccessful treatments, Luke’s parents sought out the pulmonary and transplant specialists at Children’s Hospital. His parents and doctors decided a lung transplant was his only option. Since undergoing a double-lung transplant in 2010, Luke’s quality of life has changed dramatically. He is now able to play his favorite sport, baseball, and ride his bike without struggling to breathe.

Luke, now 11 years old, and his family reside in Nazareth, Pa. He was adopted by Glen and Heather Maeding when he was 22 months old and has two brothers and three sisters. Luke will travel with his mother, sister Carline, brother Logan to Washington, D.C. He will then join with the rest of his family: his father, brother Gregory, and sisters Kyara and Makayla, in Orlando, Fla.

Delta Air Lines, Ace Hardware and Chico’s FAS are official sponsors of the 2012 Champions program.

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About Children's Miracle Network Hospitals®
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals helps to raise funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of our mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.

About Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Renowned for its outstanding clinical services, research programs and medical education, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has helped establish the standards of excellence in pediatric care. From ambulatory care to transplantation and cardiac care, talented and committed pediatric experts care for infants, children and adolescents who make more than 1 million visits to Children’s and its many neighborhood locations each year. Children’s also has been named consistently to several elite lists of pediatric health care facilities, including ranking 7th among children’s hospitals and schools of medicine (FY 2011) in funding provided by the National Institutes of Health, and is one of 12 pediatric hospitals in the United States named to U.S. News & World Report's Honor Roll of America’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” for 2012–2013.

Andrea Kunicky, 412-692-6254,
Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919,