David Youngerman leads a happy, healthy life. According to his mom, Michelle Marengo, he likes everything from soccer to snow skiing, drawing to traveling. He's a busy young man, but he still finds time to participate in Boston Children's Hospital's annual pledge walk.
David's commitment to the hospital is highly personal. Children's diagnosed him with Moyamoya—a rare cerebrovascular disease caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain. It revealed itself one sunny September day in 2003, when he was just 5 years old. David's left arm suddenly went numb in the car after soccer practice.
Michelle remembers: "I could see him slumping to one side. Then his speech began to slur, and I checked the rearview mirror again and his mouth was drooping on the left side." David was having a small stroke.
A series of tests found nothing wrong, but David's pediatrician referred him to Children's, where his case fell into the capable hands of neurosurgeon Michael Scott, MD. Amazingly, Scott was one of only two doctors in the country who could perform the eight-hour brain surgery that saved David's life.
David and his mom both know that innovative, life-saving care comes at a cost and that philanthropy can make miracles happen. "David sure understands what happens at hospitals and why kids need them so badly," says Michelle about her son's energy for fundraising.