Inspiring Moments

This podcast is produced by Kennedy Krieger Institute in partnership with WYPR, your NPR news station.

OVERCOMING FEAR

Physical therapist Beth Farrell tells a story of her first experience working with a teenager who had a recent spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed. 

AUTISM IS NO MATCH FOR JAKE

Kelly Anastaci, a special educator at Kennedy Krieger’s Montgomery County School, tells Dr. Lana Warren about a student who refuses to be limited by his diagnosis with autism spectrum disorder and how he is helping others understand those with autism better. 

OVERCOMING TRAUMA

Kennedy Krieger pediatric trauma therapist Emily Driscoll-Roe shares an inspiring story about a young girl whom she helped overcome the effects of bullying and trauma, and how the girl's resilience 

Lana Warren is the senior vice president of clinical programs at Kennedy Krieger Institute and is also a part-time instructor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins University. She is also the Kennedy Krieger resident story teller and runs a workshop designed to help staff share their stories.

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LAUGHTER SHINES THROUGH

Dr. Lana Warren speaks with Dr. Michelle Melicosta about a young boy with a rare disease and the heartwarming moment when she realizes his charming personality is still able to shine. 

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WITH THE ODDS AGAINST HER, MORGAN DANCED

Dr. Mary Leppert from Kennedy Krieger’s Infant Neurodevelopmental Center describes how Morgan, born premature at only 26 weeks gestation, overcomes the challenges of ADHD and cerebral palsy and goes on to thrive in academics, dancing and life.

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DOESN'T EVERYONE EAT?

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

Dr. Joan Carney, head of Kennedy Krieger’s specialized transition program shares a poignant story of compassion and gratitude from one wounded family to another.


Having a child with a feeding disorder can be especially difficult during the holidays. Dr. Peter Girolami from Kennedy Krieger’s feeding disorders program tells about one mom’s worries about how to help her daughter overcome her feeding challenges.

TEACHING THE TEACHERS

Lisa Carey, a special education consultant with Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education, tells about a teacher from Baltimore City Schools who inspired her. 

TURNING ADVERSITY INTO ADVOCACY

Dr. Ali Fatemi, Director of Kennedy Krieger’s Division of Neurogenetics, shares how Gregg, diagnosed with a rare, currently incurable, neurogenetic disroder, is educating physicians about rare disorders like his and encouraging families to seek diagnoses from experts, like those at Kennedy Krieger.

BEN'S BASKETBALL DREAMS

Dr. Stacy Suskauer from Kennedy Krieger’s Center for Brain Injury Recovery shares a story about Ben, a boy whose life changed in an instant at the age of 10 when a car struck the bike he was riding.

A CHILD'S HOPE REALIZED

April is Autism Awareness Month, where we honor and recognize the millions of children, families and individuals around the world who are impacted by autism.

This month's inspiring moment:

CELEBRATING NURSES

 We’re honoring Nurses Week with one of thousands of stories about our patients and their families as told by nurse Lisa Trotta, who coordinates care for children with brain, spinal cord and other serious neurological injuries. 

AN INJURED BOY'S BEST FRIEND

Sherry Fisher, a Kennedy Krieger Institute child life and therapeutic recreation special programs staff member, shares a special memory of how the affection and attention of a therapy dog made a long hospital stay better for a native American boy far from home, and his family. 

CHILDREN ARE THE BEST TEACHERS!

Sharon Holloway-Gentemann from Kennedy Krieger's PACT Therapeutic Day Care Center tells how an apprehensive new staff member learned a valuable life lesson from a little boy who refused to be limited by his disability. 

OPENING UP THE WORLD!

Dr. Jen Reesman from the Kennedy Krieger Deafness Evaluation and More clinic shares a story about Dr. Danielle Previ, a Kennedy Krieger trainee, PhD and graduate of Gallaudet University who is deaf and inspires patients who are also deaf or hard of hearing, and their families, by being a living example of all that can be accomplished.

DETERMINATION & DEFYING THE ODDS!

Dr. Erin Michael, with Kennedy Krieger's International Center for Spinal Cord Injuries recounts her experiences with Jerry, an inspiring patient who defies the odds by competing as part of Team Kennedy Krieger in the 26.2 mile, handcycling marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival. Go Jerry!

DECORATING FOR A CAUSE

Michele Mueller, Director of Special Events for Kennedy Krieger Institute, tells us about the Kemp sisters. A close-knit, generous family who meets every year at Kennedy Krieger's annual Thanksgiving weekend fund raising event, Festival of Trees, to design and decorate a tree together. The proceeds from the sale of their fabulous trees, and other items, go to help the children and families Kennedy Krieger serves in their hospital, clinics, schools and community programs. 

Aaron Parsons, vice president for Kennedy Krieger School Programs, shares his pride and excitement about Lauryn, a young woman who has successfully made the transition from special education student to committed, hard-working intern through a special program called Project SEARCH that trains young people with special needs to enter the workforce.  

MAKING THE LEAP FROM SCHOOL TO WORK