Melayna Benner considers herself to be a “regular kid.” The reality is, though, the 18 year-old has been helping to improve the lives of children with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) for nearly her entire life. As a CF patient who was diagnosed in utero, Melayna has taken part in three clinical trials as part of her care at The Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital (BBCH).
“It makes me so happy that she is helping so many children with this disease, making sure other children will be able to have these very important medications in their lives,” said Angela Henderson, Melayna’s mother. “Melayna likes to be a part of these studies not only to bring new treatments to others but to see what new advancements are coming down the pipeline.”
This week, Melayna will be explaining how much the care she’s received at BBCH has meant to her during the 14th annual Cares for Kids Radiothon to benefit BBCH. The Radiothon, which has raised more than $2 million for BBCH, runs from March 14 – 16.
Frank 107.5 and 99.9 The Wolf will be broadcasting live from the BBCH atrium on Thursday from 6 a.m. -7 p.m., Friday from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. All of the funds donated during the Cares for Kids Radiothon will support the programs and services at BBCH.
When Melayna speaks to the DJs on Thursday, she’ll be joined by her genetic counselor Carrie Milliard, who sees the difference that BBCH makes in giving patients access to clinical trials and in ensuring they’re healthy enough to participate.
“Clinical trials are life-changing for these patients,” Milliard said. “BBCH gives patients like Melayna access to clinical trials during their care and helps them manage their disease so they can live active lives.”
Melayna found the medication she took as part of her most recent clinical trial so effective at fighting infection in her lungs, she’s continuing to take it. She’s asking people to donate to BBCH so that other children can receive the same patient-centered care she has from the time she was born.
You can make a gift to BBCH during the Cares for Kids Radiothon by calling the phone bank during the live broadcast at 1-800-352-6865. You also can donate online at: mmc.org/caresforkidsradio