Riley Reynolds is a 2 1/2 year old from West Nyack, who was diagnosed with Craniosynostosis at 2 months old. Craniosynostosis is a condition in which the bones in an infant's skull grow together too early, causing problems with brain growth and head shape. Riley's first surgery was at 6 months old. Since then she has had 7 surgeries in total, and numerous weeks spent in the hospital due to infections she got from the surgeries. In her more recent surgery all the hardware had to be removed due to infection, so she now has numerous open holes in her skull, which will be fixed in a major surgery down the road when she regains all her strength. Riley loves spending time with her family, especially her big brother Michael, who always makes her happy. Through all the surgeries and hospital stays she always has a smile on her face, and thanks to everyone who has helped her get to where she is today, she truly is a Warrior.
Kieran O'Neill is a 9 year old from Pearl River who is a fraternal twin with his brother Padraig. Kieran was diagnosed with autism five years ago after he underwent dramatic changes in his condition subsequent to back to back strep infections. He has since been diagnosed with PANDAS, a pediatric neuropsychiatric disorder associated with strep infections. To lessen the possibility of strep, Kieran's tonsils were removed in 2016, but he still has sustained 29 documented strep infections that have drastically impacted his well being. Before his diagnosis, Kieran had been a typical, active little boy but at 4 1/2 years old, autism set in and he became non verbal. With relentless effort, Kieran has learned to communicate through modified sign language, but his auto immune deficiency makes him vulnerable and sickly. Kieran's family keeps searching for treatments to help him, many of which are not covered by insurance. They are hopeful that one day Kieran can have a better quality of life.