My name is Mario Magana Jr. and I am 12 yrs old. When I was 10 my life changed. My energy at school was slowly depleting, I felt discomfort in my abdomen, and worst of all...I was bleeding when I used the bathroom! After numerous appointments and countless tests, I found out that I had a mild case of Ulcerative Colitis in my descending colon. I was started on a medication and I stopped bleeding for 6 months! My parents were happy and we continued life as it was. One night I was at my cousin's Quinceniera and we all noticed the bleeding came back. After more tests and trying new medications which my body resisted, my family and I were left with the decision to choose either surgery or try new medications. I was tired of looking so pale and giving up things I was not able to do so we decided surgery.
When we arrived at Mattel Children’s Hospital, UCLA I had an MRI which confirmed that my Colitis did not turn into Crohn’s disease which is a stronger form of Colitis. I was admitted to the pediatric floor and the next day I met my wonderful Child Life Specialist, Katelynn. She introduced me to the Chase Child Life Program and I was interested from the start! She told me the whole point of the program was to cheer kids up in difficult times. She showed me where the playroom was where I could go when I wanted to do an activity to take my mind off things. I did lots off activities and explored everything that was going to happen to me. Whenever I would go to pre-surgery testing, Katelynn was there to cheer me up with an activity. When the day came that I had surgery Katelynn helped me feel like it wasn't a big deal. I went through my surgery with ease and woke up ready to live my life again. Thanks to the Chase Child Life Program, I also realized that I want to become a doctor. I want to help find a way to help others and find a cure, other than surgery, for Ulcerative Colitis. I will never forget Chase Child Life because they helped me cope with all my problems. Now I can't wait for my second surgery because I know someone is there to cheer me up besides my parents! Chase Child Life became my family.
I am a member of The Explorers! Will you run for us?