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Katie Lucas Share This OHSU Content

Katie Lucas

My daughter Katie has Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome (SLOS) - a rare genetic disease that makes her look, act and develop differently than most children - but she’s still a five-year-old kid.

That’s why we’re so grateful for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, which not only has some of the nation’s top researchers and specialists when it comes to SLOS, but also has a staff dedicated to letting kids be kids, even when they’re sick. I’m writing to thank you for helping to make this resource available and ask you to make a gift today in support of this incredible place we call Doernbecher.

From the nurse who weighs Katie when we check in for our appointments to her nutritionist, everyone is kind, caring and encouraging. There’s Dr. Mark Merkens, who always has a smile for us, and his wife Dr. Louise Merkens, a researcher in the lab who tells us to give her husband a hard time. There’s Nancy Sinden, her speech pathologist, who celebrates every milestone with us and even did a little dance when Katie weighed in at 20 pounds for the first time. And of course there’s Dr. Bob Steiner and his research team, who have been at the forefront of Katie’s care since she was a baby.

While it is hard to understand the complicated way SLOS affects patients like Katie, anyone can see the joy in the faces of our daughter and the other children at Doernbecher. Sick or well, siblings or patients, they are able to briefly forget why they are at the hospital and play with the toys in the patient rooms, climb on the outdoor play structure and just be kids. Please make a gift today to support this amazing hospital that not only provides high quality care and all of the best specialists under one roof, but encourages the joy of childhood for all children.

Kathy Lucas, mother of Katie
Portland, OR


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