Where your money is going the #GivingTuesday?

All through the holiday season, New Jersey 101.5 and Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation are encouraging you to make a difference in the lives of New Jerseyans, in the spirit of #GivingTuesday, a global movement dedicated to giving and volunteering.

Any donations made to Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation will be matched 2-to-1 up to the first $10,000 until midnight Tuesday. Click here to donate and your gift will be valued all season long.

Miracle Recoveries for Children

One story that touches our hearts here at New Jersey 101.5 is that of ‘miracle child’ Jude Siperstein.

We met Jude in 2016. Only a couple years earlier, Jude began complaining of an ear infection that soon turned into shoulder pain and ultimately a diagnosis of transverse myelitis, an autoimmune disease that affects the spinal cord resulting in paralysis. Upon taking Jude to the emergency room, Jude’s parents were initially told that doctors didn’t know what his diagnosis was, if his condition was irreversible, or if he was even going to survive.

“In a matter of a few days, Jude went from a fully active child to not even being able to hold himself up or stand up, not able to hold his head up, or even drink water by himself,” Jared Siperstein, Jude’s dad said. “It was extremely scary.”

His parents' goal was to keep him well enough to survive — and to get him care through Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick. It’s one of 13 locations providing inpatient and outpatient care for children facing special health challenges. Jude’s mother had volunteered with the hospital years ago. She knew what its pediatric specialists could do.

But when staff showed up to assist Jude in Ninja Turtles costumes, Jude’s parents knew they’d made the right choice, they said.

When New Jersey 101.5 met Jude, he'd learned to hold his head up again, to sit up, to stand — first with assistance, and then on his own.

“To be able to walk again and see the light at the end of that tunnel was huge for him,” his mother said.

Jude’s time as a physical therapy inpatient lasted about three months. He continued to attend therapy at Children’s Specialized’s Mountainside for few days each week, making solid gains. That year, Children’s Specialized chose Jude as its champion for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Jude’s experience of recovery and rehabilitation is just one of the many stories at Children’s Specialized Hospital. This holiday season, we hope that you’ll help lead the way for a brighter future for ALL children facing special health care challenges.

Despite having anxiety, Jude’s parents knew that if there was ever a chance of their outgoing, sociable young son regaining mobility, it would be at Children’s Specialized Hospital.

“Jude loves the therapists. He looks forward to coming to therapy every morning and spending time with them,” Jared said.. “Without a doubt – Children’s Specialized Hospital gave Jude his life back. His progress has been a miracle.”

The above post is sponsored by Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation, which supports the programs and services of the hospital. All donations go directly to helping pioneer new specialized care and serve more children in need. To help, or for more information: visit childrens-specialized.org; find Children's Specialized Hospital on Facebook, or follow on it on Twitter.

With prior reporting by Louis C. Hochman

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