Parents try alternative medicine to ease their child’s headache pain

More than 1 in 10 young people in the United States experiences recurrent headaches, and parents are eager to find ways to ease their pain and help their children get back to normal life and school.

To that end, nearly 1 in 3 youth aged 10 to 17 who regularly experience headaches are turning to some type of complementary or alternative medicine (CAM), in addition to conventional medical care.

CAM includes things like herbal therapies, acupuncture and mind-body approaches such as meditation or deep breathing. Across the country, youth with recurrent headaches are more than twice as likely to use CAM compared with youth who do not experience recurring headaches.

With that in mind, it is important for parents and children’s health care providers to both discuss the presence of headaches as well as the use of CAM to ensure CAM use is considered when making other medical recommendations and to track CAM’s impact and effectiveness. This is especially important because nearly 9 out of 10 youth with headaches also experience other chronic conditions, and those who use CAM are also among the highest users of conventional medical care.

In fact, a study we recently published in the journal Pediatrics showed that among youth experiencing recurrent headaches, those who used CAM also:

  • Had higher total expenditures for conventional care.
  • Were twice as likely to have seen a specialist.
  • Were more likely to take prescription medications.
  • Had six or more conventional care visits in the past year.

With improved communication between health care providers, parents and youth, everyone can learn more about the potential benefits from using the many self-care approaches included among CAM, as well as the possibility of reducing often costly medical interventions.

In addition, these discussions may also reveal the importance of medications and other treatments to help youth with headaches who often experience headaches on a weekly basis and who miss a large number of school days and repeatedly use the emergency room.

Care coordination and integration of care should also include complementary and alternative therapies. Coordination begins with communication between parents, youth and providers about the use of CAM.

Christina Bethell, Ph.D., M.B.A., M.P.H.
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Director, Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital



Bedwetting: You are not alone

No shame or blame for accidents — nobody “wants” to wet the bed.

Wetting the bed is a common problem for children. In fact, 15 percent of 5-year-olds wet the bed. Unfortunately, it is also an issue that we tend not to talk about outside our immediate families – if it is talked about at all.

It is important for kids and their families to realize this is a common issue, usually there is not a medical reason, and it usually will stop on its own.


  • No shame or blame for accidents — nobody “wants” to wet the bed.
  • Kids who wet the bed are NOT “lazy.”
  • If a kid could stop wetting the bed, he/she would.
  • Kids CAN be responsible for keeping themselves and their bed clean and dry (age-appropriate), i.e., help strip the bed, help with the laundry – NOT as a punishment

Your child may be ready to work on becoming dry at night if he/she:

  • Is asking about being out of diapers or pull-ups and wants to wear underwear.
  • Is feeling like he/she is missing out on social activities.
  • Seems excited to try something new to become dry.

Most kids are not ready to work on bedwetting until around age 7. Understandably, parents often want to work on bedwetting before the child is ready. Usually your child will be more successful once they are on board versus trying to make them want to work on it.


  • Go pee right before bed (seems obvious but a lot of kids do not).
  • Limit fluids in the evening, especially known bladder irritants (carbonation, caffeine, citric juices, red/purple dyes, chocolate).
  • Have a flashlight/nightlight to help guide your chlid to the bathroom during the night.
  • Have your child practice getting up from his/her bed and going to the bathroom


  • Bed alarms: alarms that go off when your child starts to pee. Parents will most likely need to wake up the child – this may be the most effective treatment, but can take several months to work
  • Acupuncture.
  • Medications – they do not work for everyone and are not a cure, but may be helpful for your child
  • Combination therapy.

When to seek help:

  • Any time you have a question or concern; contact OHSU Doernbecher Pediatric Urology.
  • This is a new symptom (previously had six months of complete dryness).
  • Daytime peeing issues.

Erin Anderson, B.S.N., M.S.N, C.N.P.
Division of Pediatric Urology
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital

Introducing Nike Doernbecher Freestyle designers for 2013 — Jake Dering

Jake Dering, 8 (photo by Daniel Root)

Here’s the thing about 8-year-old Jake Dering: the kid’s got swagger. After enduring 19 surgeries to treat an extremely rare genetic condition called otopalatodigital syndrome type II, he’s earned the right to strut a little. Jake’s charm is not lost on the ladies.

He’s been known to liberally dose himself with Calvin Klein cologne (he calls it smelly sauce) when the occasion calls for it. He’s also a smooth operator on the dance floor, making him a high sought after partner at weddings. “I’m good at the tango and romance dancing,” he said.

His swagtastic creation, the Nike Free Jake 5.0, is ideal for fresh dance moves. Lenticular materials throughout the shoe give the appearance of constantly being in motion – just like Jake. He offers some words of advice on the sockliners: one side reads Be Brave, while the other reads Never Give Up. And around the ankle collar, Jake’s can-do attitude is summed up with the simple phrase I wasn’t made to fit in, I was made to stand out.

Even the name of the shoe is significant to Jake. “I just really want to be free of all this stuff,” he explained. “No halo, no cast, no crutches. That’s why it’s called the Free Jake.”

Jake Dering’s Nike Free Jake 5.0 (photo by Paul Wegman)

Next May, another surgery is planned to add 3 ½ inches to his right leg. Until then, he’ll continue rocking his Free Jakes with a special lift built right in. Besides making it a lot easier to run and play, his custom Nike kicks come with an extra special benefit.

“A lot of times people want to know what the deal is with my shoes – I get kind of tired of it,” he said. “But now, when people ask me, ‘where did you get that cool shoe?’ I can say, ‘I designed it!’”  Talk about bragging rights – or in Jake’s case, swagger rights.

A Free Jake tag on the tongue of Jake’s shoe (photo by Paul Wegman)

“Jake has undergone numerous surgeries throughout his life. He has been in and out of full body casts and halo neck traction. He is resilient, dedicated to improving his mobility, and tough. He is also a super charismatic and genuine person. He has overcome the odds – he is a fighter.” – Nathan Selden, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.P., head, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

The 2013 limited-edition Doernbecher Freestyle Collection includes apparel and footwear and will be sold at and at Nike retail locations across the country. All proceeds benefit OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

YouTube Preview Image
See more photos of Jake’s shoe and apparel.

Ashley Schmidt
Associate Director of Development
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation



Join us in celebrating Pacific Northwest Diabetes Health and Wellness Week

Taking care of diabetes can be a challenge, but you are not alone. Join OHSU and the rest of the diabetes community in celebrating Pacific Northwest Diabetes Health & Wellness Week.

Founded by the Chris Dudley Foundation and Novo Nordisk, this weeklong event, Nov. 10 – 16, is designed to unite our community in a collaborative effort to bring diabetes to light and change the way diabetes is viewed and treated.

The week’s activities include the 6th annual Pacific Northwest Diabetes Summit, Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Portland, Ore.

Presented by the OHSU Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Center and Novo Nordisk, this year’s summit will have morning sessions devoted to type 1 diabetes and afternoon sessions focused on type 2 diabetes. All of the sessions are designed to provide practical information for individuals and families affected by diabetes. Topics range from new technologies in the care of diabetes to practical advice for coping with diabetes and diabetes management.

The summit is free and all are invited to attend.

In addition to the summit, kids with diabetes can take part in Circle on the Court, the week’s kick-off event, Friday, Nov. 8. Prior to attending a Portland Trailblazer game, participants will have the opportunity to meet former professional athletes, including Chris Dudley and Dominique Wilkins, and learn more about living an active life with diabetes.

Bruce Boston, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology
Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital


Portland Superheroes bring adventure, make-believe to ‘super kids’ at Doernbecher

The Portland Superheroes Coalition first came to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital through a family’s request to brighten their little girl’s stay — she absolutely loved one of the superheroes. The family was gracious enough to allow the visit to be shared with other patients in the hospital. This event was so well received by patients and their families that we asked the Portland Superheroes to visit patients on a quarterly basis, and they answered with a resounding “YES!”

They have visited twice, and will continue to visit on a quarterly basis. They draw from a pool of 50 different super hero characters, enlisting the services of six superheroes and two support staff each visit. Pictures are taken with patients, siblings, parents and staff members.

It’s a wonderful visit of make-believe, with super heroes visiting super kids!

The Portland Superheroes Coalition originally started as a response to the Aurora shooting, but it sat dormant for months not knowing what direction it should go.

Then in February 2013, after attending Wizard World Portland, a comic book and media convention, it was decided a group should be created where members can all meet on a regular basis to do positive things in the community. The official membership is always growing and Portland Superheroes have participated in more than 20 community events and fundraisers.

It is all done freely by member volunteers. Events are usually scheduled via email.

“We have never created our own events. We just go where we are wanted or needed. We are simply a group of volunteers who enjoy comic books, movies, pop culture, and are able to volunteer time to help out in the community.” — Portland Superheroes

Thank you Portland Superheroes!

Beth Christian
Certified Child Life Specialist
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital



Introducing Nike Doernbecher Freestyle designers for 2013 — Bella Stone

Bella stone, 9 (Photo by Matthew Scott)

Nine-year-old Bella Stone is spunky. She’s ambitious. She’s outgoing. And more than anything, she’s a miracle.  “She wasn’t expected to survive when she was born,” explained her mom, Jessica. “So we call her miracle baby girl.”

Twenty surgeries and one brand-new kidney later, Bella has certainly lived up to the name. And she plans on defying the odds even more by becoming the world’s first combination singer-doctor-actor-dentist (we told you she was ambitious).

Bella approached the design of her shoe with the same unstoppable energy. Her custom kicks have everything a girl could ever want: pink sparkles, rainbow colors, and a big heart with a kidney-shaped accent. (The heart is for her Aunt Chrissy; she donated one of her kidneys when Bella was just 2 years old.)

Other sweet details include a “B” surrounded by 20 hearts – one for each of her operations performed by the OHSU Doernbecher surgical team. The words Live, Dream, Hope and Faith circle the outsole, and an embroidered microphone reflects her passion for music.“I love to sing!  I know most of the Broadway musicals by heart,” she explained.

Bella Ston’es Nike Free 5.0

Although Bella has been bursting with excitement about being a Freestyle designer, she dutifully kept her promise not to reveal any details about her shoe before the auction. “People were always asking to see it – even my chiropractor! But I’ve been keeping it a secret really good,” she explained.

A secret no longer, Bella’s Nike Free 5.0 is now ready to share with the world – and she couldn’t be happier. “It’s such a fun, amazing shoe!” she said. Just like the miracle girl who created it.

Bella’s initial is surrounded by 20 hearts, each representing a surgery at OHSU Doernbecher (photo by Paul Wegman)

“Bella has been conversant, charming and artistic her whole life. She engages children and adults with warmth, intelligence and a truly vibrant personality.  She well represents a chronically ill child whose outlook on life is refreshing beyond anyone’s expectations.” – David Rozansky, M.D., Ph.D., head, Division of Pediatric Nephrology, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

The 2013 limited-edition Doernbecher Freestyle Collection includes apparel and footwear and will be sold at and at Nike retail locations across the country. All proceeds benefit OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

YouTube Preview Image
Ashley Schmidt
Associate Director of Development
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation




Introducing Nike Doernbecher Freestyle designers for 2013 — Ross Hathaway

Ross Hathaway, 11 (photo by Dan Root)

To say Ross Hathaway is an active kid would be putting it lightly. Ross can land a 180 on his skis and pull some pretty cool tricks on his skateboard. He even had a black belt in taekwondo. Just be careful when you ask for a demonstration – you may find yourself flat on your back.  Pretty impressive for any kid – especially impressive for one who lives with cystic fibrosis (CF). Ross has been fighting the disease since kindergarten, and with the help of experts in the OHSU Doernbecher Cystic Fibrosis Clinic, he has seen remarkable improvement in his health.

But instead of letting it slow him down, Ross and his family have thrown their energy into raising money for research with their Cozies for a Cure.  “They’re these pillows that you can heat up and put around your neck,” he said. “I help pick the patterns, and the whole family helps make them – even my dog Finn loves them. We sell them at the farmer’s markets and stuff.”

Now Ross finds himself selling to a far larger market – one that’s going to be clamoring for his Nike Zoom Stefan Janoski skate shoe. He says he carefully considered his audience when coming up with the design. “As a skater, I thought a lot about how it would look against the board,” he explained.

Ross’ Nike Zoom Stefan Janoski skate shoe (photo by Paul Wegman)

The result is a shoe that Janoski himself would be proud to roll in. The uppers feature dimensional pops of color inspired by the crystals in Ross’ rock collection. You’ll find a pair of lungs on the outsole; inside a digital rose that is a nod to 65 roses, which is what some kids with CF call their disease since it’s easier to pronounce). And just for good measure, Ross threw a couple of palm trees around the logo to reflect his love of tropical places.

While they look great on a skateboard, Ross’ shoes are built for all kinds of serious action. Like helping OHSU Doernbecher find a cure for CF.

Ross’ shoes include a set of lungs on the soles (photo by Paul Wegman)

“Ross and his family have an awesome outlook regarding his diagnosis. For Ross, cystic fibrosis (CF) is a part of him but it does not define him.  He does his treatments daily but then he really puts CF aside and lives and amazing adventurous life.”Michael Powers, M.D., head, Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

The 2013 limited-edition Doernbecher Freestyle Collection includes apparel and footwear and will be sold at and at Nike retail locations across the country. All proceeds benefit OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

YouTube Preview Image
See more photos of Ross’ shoe and apparel.

Ashley Schmidt
Associate Director of Development
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation

What parents should know about electronic cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes,electronic cigarette are battery-operated delivery systems for the inhalation of nicotine or other liquids. They consist of a battery, a cartridge that contains liquid, the carrier for nicotine, and an atomizer that converts the liquid into a mist.

When the user inhales or presses a button on the e-cigarette, a small amount of liquid gets released into the vaporizer and is transformed into a fine mist which is then inhaled into the lungs. After entering the lung, the nicotine contained in the mist gets absorbed almost instantly and is transported via the blood into the brain where it exerts its effect.

E-cigarettes were originally invented in 2003 by a Chinese pharmacist and have spread from China across the globe at an extremely rapid pace. Many different brands exist today that deliver varying amounts of nicotine. They have become increasingly popular in the United States with a sharp increase in the number of users over the past few years. Marketing for the devices is aggressive and they are becoming more easily accessible.

An astonishingly rapid rise of their use in middle and high school students triggered a press release by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month. The reported numbers are concerning. More than 1.78 million middle and high school students tried e-cigarettes in 2012. This number is twice as high as in 2011.

In addition, smoking e-cigarettes was also strongly associated with smoking tobacco. Tobacco smoking has tremendous health consequences and it is estimated that 435,000 people die prematurely because of smoking.

The findings from this report raise serious concerns for the future health of our children. Exposure to small amounts of nicotine for a brief period of time can set the path for lifelong addiction in a child. It is known that almost all smokers start their habit before reaching adulthood. In addition, exposure to nicotine at a younger age is associated with higher risk for chronic dependence as less mature brains are more susceptible to the effects of nicotine.

It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Unfortunately, a lifelong addiction to nicotine can start with one e-cigarette.

Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, and inhalation into the lungs is a powerful delivery route as the drug reaches the brain within seconds after inhalation. The nicotine effect is instant and many people will experience a sensation of relaxation, pleasure, reduced stress and improved alertness. On the flip side, once the brain has become accustomed to daily exposure to nicotine, it becomes dependent on its stimulating effect. Any attempt to quit smoking leads to unpleasant sensations that are associated with strong craving for nicotine to seek relief. This in in turn makes it extremely hard to kick the addiction.

What are some of the concerns regarding e-cigarettes?

  1. E-cigarettes are heavily promoted and children are increasingly exposed to advertisement through nontraditional media like the internet. Some e-cigarettes are sold with enticing flavors like bubble gum or chocolate that makes them more appealing to children and teenagers. The greatest concern is that they are exposing children and teenagers to nicotine with the potential to set up lifelong nicotine dependence.
  2. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug that leads to measurable changes in the brain and body.
  3. Even if you assume that e-cigarettes are “cleaner” than tobacco, they still deliver a potent drug that can lead to lifelong dependence in many teenagers.
  4. Even though e-cigarettes deliver a highly potent drug, the quality of their production and reliability of nicotine dose and delivery are not under formal supervision by the Food and Drug Administration. A preliminary analysis by the FDA found inconsistent or non-existent quality control in the manufacturing process. The amount of nicotine varied substantially from cartridge to cartridge and tobacco specific impurities were detected. The FDA has announced that it will begin to regulate e-cigarettes soon. However, no specific rules have been announced yet.
  5. The health effect of the inhalation of e-cigarette vapor over many years into the lung is unknown. Even though they do not contain tobacco, the vapor contains chemicals that have not been proven to be safe when inhaled for many years.
  6. E-cigarettes are being promoted as a safe alternative to smoking or as a tool for smoking cessation. However, they are attractive to children that do not currently smoke.

So what can a parent do about this?

Pick a time to talk to your teenager when she/he is in a good and cooperative mood. Ask if she/he has heard about e-cigarettes. If not, offer to talk about it. If your teenager knows peers that are smoking e-cigarettes or is using herself/himself offer support in a non-judgmental way.

You can also call 1-800-QUIT –NOW to obtain free advice on how to get started – also a good idea to call if you are a smoker and thinking about quitting smoking.

Holger Link, M.D., M.R.C.P.
Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital


Introducing Nike Doernbecher Freestyle designers for 2013 — Kira Smith

Kira Smith, 17, of Beaverton, Ore. (photo by Dan Root)

Welcome to Kira Smith’sworld – a whimsical place filled with frills and lace, performance and poetry. At 17, she’s already an accomplished dancer and an aspiring designer with an impressive portfolio of sketches. And though she may sometimes be mistaken for her identical twin, Kate, there’s no mistaking her one-of-a-kind Nike Dunk Sky High.

Inspired by her love for Victorian fashion and a play fascination with Alice in Wonderland, Kira’s shoe struts its stuff with lace embossing, ribbon laces and a corset detail up the heel. The outsole features Kira’s hand-drawn graphics and a quote from a certain Cheshire Cat that reads, “We’re all mad here.”

For Kira, designing her own shoe was about as good as it gets. “It was so much fun,” she said. “I got to peek inside the design industry and see a glimpse of my future.”

Kira Smith’s Nike Dunk Sky High (photo by Paul Wegman)

Kira also got to share something much more personal: her experience with obsessive compulsive disorder. It’s an illness she shares with her sister and overcame with the help of the OHSU Doernbecher child and psychiatry team.

“It’s been an honor to represent patients with mental illness,” she said. “I’m so grateful for everything Doernbecher has done for us.”

“I may have had a nightmare of a past, but I can choose whether or not to use it to craft a better future for myself and those around me, which, fortunately, I have decided to do for myself and for the good of all who come after me, so that they may not follow in my footsteps.” – excerpt from Kira’s memoir.

Corset detailing on the back of Kira’s shoe (photo by Paul Wegman)

“Kira and Kate take great pride in their recovery and would like to help others feel hope in dealing with life’s serious challenges.”Ajit Jetmalani, M.D., head, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

The 2013 limited-edition Doernbecher Freestyle Collection includes apparel and footwear and will be sold at and at Nike retail locations across the country. All proceeds benefit OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

YouTube Preview Image
See more photos of Kira’s shoe and apparel.

Ashley Schmidt
Associate Director of Development
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation

Nine fifth-grade philanthropists take on the Knight Cancer Challenge

Nine young ladies, inspired by Phil and Penny Knight’s cancer challenge, raised $400 weaving and selling bracelets to their family, friends and neighbors to help “end cancer as we know it.” The girls presented a check to cancer research Dr. Bill Chang at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Oct. 15. Thank you, Looms for the Cure!

Looms for the Cure presents $400 check to Dr. Bill Chang

At first two of us were making popular bracelets out of colored rubber bands. As the bracelets got more and more popular, two more girls started to think of selling the bracelets in the school. We needed more people to make the bracelets if we were going to sell them and in the end there were nine girls involved.

All of us are fifth-graders at Bonny Slope Elementary.

Looms for the Cure bracelets

We started to think of ideas about how we could take action while doing it.  Then we came up with the idea to help cancer research because there are a lot of people who are affected by it. All of us really liked that idea, because we hoped we could make a difference. We care about people who are affected by cancer and want to help them.

We hope our donation can help OHSU reach the cure!

We are the Looms for the Cure!



Doernbecher Children's Hospital

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital


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