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Odenton / Gambrills: Gambrills woman races for hospital that saved her baby's life

Cameron Howard just celebrated his second birthday. He is a happy child who enjoys playing with toy cars and running around.

To him, his birthday was all about cake and ice cream. To his parents Brittney and Matthew Howard, it marks the anniversary of a day of the drama that went into Cameron's birth.

Brittney, a medical lab scientist, had a normal pregnancy and a smooth delivery. However, not everything was as it seemed.

Once Cameron was delivered, he started turning blue and was placed in the neonatal intensive care unit. Within hours, Cameron and his father were airlifted to Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C. A life-saving surgery was performed.

Cameron was born with transposition of the great arteries, a serious heart defect where two of his main arteries were in the wrong places. He was not receiving oxygenated blood. When Cameron was three days old, he had a second surgery and since then he has been progressing well. His doctors at Children's National were able to save his life, but even so, Cameron will need to be monitored for the rest of his life, since a side effect of this condition is narrowing of the arteries.

A day after giving birth, Brittney was released from the hospital and was able to join her husband and son at Children's National.

"I never saw anything like it, they treated us so well," Brittney said.

The family found themselves in a stressful and confusing situation, but Children's National helped them through. At Children's, the whole family was able to stay at the hospital. They took care of mom and newborn Cameron's physical needs, and helped both parents to understand what was happening to their child.

The family is very grateful that Children's National was there and able to help. "I could never repay Children's National for what they have given me. Without Children's, Cameron wouldn't be here," Brittany said.

Last fall, Children's National Health System held its first-ever Race for Every Child 5K. Brittney has run in other 5Ks - the Color Run 5K, an Ugly Sweater 5K - but the most important one to her was last year's Race for Every Child.

As she ran, she pushed Cameron in a stroller and still managed to finish the race in 30 minutes. Her personal goal was to raise $150 for the cause. Instead, she raised $1,000. "I was so excited to see every time someone made a donation," Brittany said.

Not to be left out, Matthew participated in the race last year as a volunteer, making sure the runners went the correct way on the course.

Though Matthew is unable to attend this year, Brittney and Cameron - in his stroller - will be there. Her goal is to double last year's efforts.

The race will be held Sept. 13 at Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, D.C. Registration is now open for individuals and teams on RaceForEveryChild.org. The event's proceeds will help fund specialized medical care, research into childhood diseases, and important wellness and preventive services to keep children healthy.

Last year there were nearly 4,000 participants. The goal for the 2014 Race for Every Child is to raise $1 million, which will make a tremendous impact on patients treated at Children's National, and also to draw more than 4,500 participants in the 5K run/walk and kids' dash. The organization has raised 25 percent of its financial goal, and have 1,073 registered to participate.

With the race set for eight weeks from now, there is plenty of time to get a team together and start training.

To donate or participate, visit http://www.childrensnational.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=8084.

President's awards

Arundel Middle School recently announced its President's Education Awards Program winners.

Students must meet specific educational criteria in order to be eligible. Students must have a 3.5 or higher grade-point average for the President's Award for Educational Excellence.

The following students received the award: Munawar Ahmad, Haley Alioto, Zachary Arter, Emily Arvidson, Adrese Atkins, TaNia Atkins, Aubrey Bacon, Elina Baltins, Abigail Barnett, Katherine Barrett, Taysha Bender, Aleta Benson, Elizabeth Benson, Reginald Best, Ashtyn Bethel, Nathan Boudreaux, Quinten Bouknight, Natalie Britt, Nicholas Brown, Chloe Buckley, Rachel Cagle, Michael Chen, Madison Chermak, Casey Clemens, Bianca Clinton, Brittany Colgan, Henry Covington, Arrieanna Curtis, Lexi Day, Savannah DeLullo, Makayla Dennis, Roman Ditzenberger, Jared Dove, Courtney Duffell, Madison Earl, Alicia Eldredge, Ramy El-Lissy, Michelle Eng, Maria Espinoza, Maggie Farr, Molly Fitzmaurice, Kevin Garcia, Jace Gibson, Teah Gibson, Brendan Gillespy, Jonathan Greenslit, Hannah Gruber, Chyna Gubbings, Preston Gurry, Matthew Hagemann, Tamoor Hamid, Jeffrey Hankins, Julia Hansen, Jessica Hardesty, Lily Hariton, Amanda Hewitt, Rebecca Hewitt, Cheivelle Hill, Charlotte Honrath, Justin Howell, Stefan Hoxie, Andrew Jones, Ryan Kinsinger, Anthony Lam, Miaoshan Lei, Megan Loock, Samantha Lopez, Esra Mahgoub, Stefen Main, Matthew Manoogian, Kiana Marable, Connor Markwell, Daniel Matlock, Makayla Mazzarello, Anneliese McCoy-Knight, Autumn McCree, Alexandra McCulloch, Dylan Melnick, Konah Morris, Charles Moses, Carly Mower, Kaja Nall, Elizabeth Nelson, Riley Newman, Melinda Ogden, Carson Ortiz, Aaron Kyle Pail, Grace Palmieri, Jarod Parker, Corbin Pearce, Aiyana Pemberton, Melissa Pena, Radford Perry, Kyler Philpott, Ryan Poole, Angela Puhl, Tayah Rendina, Rylie Rightnour, Kelsi Ross, Alexandra Ruggles, Rachel Schrier, Katelyn Shibilski, Jessica Simpson, Arabella Smith, Nia Smith, Nathaniel Soto, Cheyenne Starr, Danielle Stenz, Marcelo Stenzel, Hannah Stevens, Marcus Stewart, Jayshawn Valencia, Sarah Valerien, Alexander Viado, Katelyn Walker, Maycee Whetsell, Emily Wirt, Lauren Young and Nicole Zentgraf.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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