Since 1984, the Dana Open has been committed to raising national awareness and support for the charities committed to improving the lives of children in our region. In celebration of our 40th anniversary, we are launching “Champions for Children” to emphasize a holistic focus on children’s health and the many factors that can impact a child’s overall well-being. Patients treated at the two children’s hospitals in northwest Ohio—Nationwide Children’s Hospital - Toledo and ProMedica Russell J. Ebeid Children’s Hospital—share their stories to encourage and inspire our community. Together, they represent our 2024 Dana Open patient champions. 

To view our 2024 Patient Champion Photo Gallery please click here.


Meet Addie!

Age: 17

Hometown: Toledo, OH

Diagnosis: Classic Hodgkin Lymphoma

At 16 years old, Addie noticed a lump on the side of her neck. After seeing her primary care physician, she was immediately sent for a series of diagnostic tests.

Approximately one week later, she was diagnosed with Classic Hodgkin Lymphoma, Stage IIA, with bulky disease. Over the next 6 months, Addison received treatment that included both standard chemotherapy and an investigational therapy.

While this was a very scary time, Addie found comfort in the relationships she built with the hospital staff and fellow patients, and she is extremely grateful for the exceptional care she received. “The staff created a positive, supportive environment for children fighting cancer. They were very comforting, and I am thankful that I had so many great people surrounding me during such a scary time,” said Addison.

Addie has been cancer-free since October 2023 and will continue regular checkups at the hospital. Now that she is in remission, she uses her experience to support other young cancer patients by creating gift baskets and sending messages of encouragement. With support from Make-A-Wish, she is spearheading an initiative to connect local teens affected by cancer.

While she had to put a hold on playing sports for part of her junior year, she is now back to playing soccer, volleyball, basketball and participating in band. She is looking forward to participating in all her usual activities during the next school year (her senior year) and is thankful to be cancer-free!

Meet Greyson!

Age: 8

Hometown: Perrysburg, OH

Diagnosis: Congenital Heart Disease - Coarctation of the Aorta, PDA, Bicuspid Aortic Valve

At a routine 20-week ultrasound, doctors sent Greyson’s parents to a pediatric cardiologist after concerning results. Greyson’s parents were told he had coarctation of the aorta, a birth defect in which part of the aorta is narrower than usual. Doctors monitored the aorta throughout the remainder of mom Jaclyn’s pregnancy. Near the end of her pregnancy, they no longer saw signs of the coarctation and determined it had resolved in utero.

By six months old, Greyson was a happy and healthy baby boy, but in an abundance of caution Jaclyn scheduled him for an examination just to be sure.

“I almost cancelled the day before,” Jaclyn shares. “I felt so silly taking my perfectly healthy baby in for no reason.”

But her intuition proved to be right. Greyson had a severe coarctation of the aorta, patent ductus arteriosus, and a bicuspid aortic valve and needed life-saving surgery. Two weeks later, Greyson got the surgery he needed. Just two days post-op, this little boy learned to crawl in his hospital room.

“We are so very thankful for the incredible care we received from everyone involved,” says Jaclyn. “The peace we felt the moment we walked through those doors is something we will never forget.”

Greyson, now eight, is doing wonderful and is extremely active. He competes in cross country, plays basketball and also plays golf on the PGA Junior League at Toledo Country Club. Greyson has no problem keeping up with the other kids, thanks to his repaired heart. He is very excited to be a part of this year’s Dana Open! Greyson loves being a patient champion and sharing his story to show how brave and strong little kids can be!

Meet Isaac!

Age: 8

Hometown: Archbold, OH

Diagnosis: T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

On Christmas Eve 2023, Isaac wasn’t feeling well so his family took him to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with rhinovirus. While at the hospital, routine blood testing discovered that Isaac’s white blood cell count was extremely high.

When Isaac’s doctors ordered further testing to investigate, an x-ray found a mass in his chest. A biopsy revealed that Isaac had T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Isaac currently receives regular care to treat his cancer in Toledo. His mom, Angel, said that Isaac has grown close with hospital staff, especially the nurses he sees on an almost daily basis. “They are always playing with him and helping him find games or activities to do to pass time,” said Angel.

Isaac still has a few years of treatment left, but despite his journey he is a fun-loving 8-year-old. “Isaac loves being outside and playing with his older brother,” said Angel. “They are always running around and rolling in the grass.”

Isaac is excited to learn some new golf skills and be a part of the Dana Open!

Meet Lilly!

Age: 18

Hometown: Metamora, OH

Diagnosis: Hodgkin Lymphoma

When Lilly was 15 years old, she discovered she had a swollen lymph node on the side of her neck. “When I found the lump, I was scared so I didn’t tell anyone for about a year,” said Lilly. “I just knew it was something bad.”

About a year later, she confided in her aunt, who is a nurse, about how she had felt a small lump on her neck. Concerned, her aunt told her she needed to go get the lump biopsied. Lilly’s biopsy results revealed that she had Hodgkin lymphoma.

After about six months of treatment, Lilly’s cancer had gone into remission. However, almost exactly a year later, Lilly felt a new lump on her neck and found out her Hodgkin lymphoma had returned.

Lilly is now 18 years old and in remission with no signs or symptoms of cancer. Lilly says that her positive mindset and optimism has greatly impacted her cancer journey. In her free time, she likes to play with her dog, hangout with friends and listen to music.

This fall, Lilly is headed to The Ohio State University as an incoming freshman. “I’m so excited to meet new people and have different life experiences,” said Lilly. “I can’t wait!” She hopes to pursue a degree in psychology.

Meet Myla!

Age: 9

Hometown: New Riegel, Ohio

Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Myla was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on June 29, 2020, just two weeks shy of her 6th birthday. While Myla was leaning against her mother during a party, she felt a large lump on her neck. By the next day, her face and neck were severely swollen. A visit to urgent care quickly shifted to a referral to the hospital for emergency blood work. They did not make it back home before they received the call that her condition was critical and they needed to rush to the nearest children’s hospital.

It was at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore, Myla’s dad had to wait out in the van while they remained in the emergency room for over five hours. It was through a video call that he heard the words “your child has cancer.” Myla initially spent ten days in the hospital where she had surgery to have her port placed. She then went on to receive her first few rounds of chemotherapy and many blood transfusions. Shortly after her release from the hospital, Myla was rushed back. They were informed that some of her medications had caused intussusception. Intussusception often blocks food or fluid from passing through and cuts off the blood supply to the part of the intestine that is affected.

Myla also began having severe neuropathy. She had difficulty walking, using her hands and her vocal cords were becoming paralyzed. After further testing, they were told that her nerve endings didn’t have much movement. As a result of this, there was a chance that she would never walk again. This led Myla to be tested for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). She tested positive. Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is an inherited nerve defect that causes abnormalities in the nerves that supply your feet, legs, hands, and arms. Myla is in the rare 2% of people with CMT in which it was not hereditary. She was then placed on a chemo backpack that had a 24-hour infusion. Following this, Myla was admitted to inpatient rehab at the hospital for two weeks of intense therapy where she learned to walk again. She was sent home with a forward walker, reverse walker, wheelchair and many other occupational therapy devices to help her regain her independence as she gained mobility.

In the fall of 2021, Myla no longer had any use for her leg braces. She was able to ride a bike, rejoin ballet, go back to school, and do all the things she did before being diagnosed. She still gets tired from too much physical activity due to her CMT, but she has returned to 90% of her prior mobility. Myla keeps a smile on her face and takes things one day at a time. Cancer and COVID-19 have taken a lot away from her, but not her spirit.

Myla is excited to be patient champion at the Dana Open this year! She says, “sharing my story helps future children with their care at the hospital by encouraging people to donate.”

Meet Sage!

Age: 15

Hometown: Clyde, Ohio

Diagnosis: Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID)

Sage was diagnosed with Common Variable Immune Deficiency with Neutropenia at 18 months old. When Sage was 2 years old, her mom received the call that she was unresponsive. Her parents rushed her to their local hospital where she was then transferred for further care. They were told that Sage had sepsis with a blood infection. Sepsis is a serious condition in which the body responds improperly to an infection. The infection-fighting processes turn on the body, causing the organs to work poorly. This resulted in a ten-day stay in the intensive care unit. Over the last 12 years, Sage has endured countless blood draws, multiple surgeries and numerous hospital admissions.

Due to her diagnosis, Sage is seen at the hospital every four weeks to receive Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy (IVIg) via her chest port. Through it all, she has kept her sense of humor, even nicknaming her chest port, "Buddy.” Due to the immune deficiency, Sage’s body is unable to fight off bacterial and viral infections, leaving her at a high risk of infection. They questioned if she would ever be able to attend school in person. Her medical specialists and school staff worked together to come up with reasonable accommodations to allow her to return to school for some sense of normalcy. Since kindergarten, she has been able to attend school in person during the months of August through December. She transitions to attending school virtually during the months of January through April and returns to in person schooling for the month of May.

“The physicians, nurses and staff that care for me have truly become a part of our family.” Each month when we walk on the unit to get her infusion, Sage is welcomed by the staff with big smiles, warm hugs, and even special little gifts at times. There are just no words to explain the compassion, empathy, care and love the physicians and nursing staff give not only to Sage, but our family as well,” says Sage’s mom.

Sage is excited to be a patient champion at the Dana Open this year! She says “I am excited to share my story, to meet new people and as a patient champion, I want to share my smile as I've done throughout everything I’ve been through because I’ve lived by this saying – ‘The world can't change your smile, but your smile can change the world!’”