Danna is a courageous 16-year-old former patient from Ecuador. In 2004, when Danna was just 3 months old her family came across Mending Kids and applied for surgical care in hopes of mending Danna’s heart. Danna and her family traveled to the US, where she was treated at UCLA for several months and underwent multiple complex surgeries. After a lengthy hospital stay filled with ups and downs Danna finally recovered and has grown to be a healthy teenager. Danna and her family eventually moved to New York where she now attends New Dorp High School. Dana hopes to become a neonatologist or pediatric surgeon and says “it has always been my wish to give back a little of the help I received when I needed it.” We honor Danna this year for her bravery, her journey, and her bright future.Read her story
Nick Simmons is a writer, musician, musical director, and television personality best known for appearing on the television show Gene Simmons Family Jewels on A&E for seven seasons. He has written articles for Vice, Elite Daily, Esquire, and The Huffington Post. Nick has volunteered for many Hometown Missions and is honored for his longtime support of and advocacy for Mending Kids.Read his story
Dr. Andre Panossian is an internationally recognized, board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in craniofacial surgery, facial paralysis, and reconstructive surgery for the face, breast, and body.
Dr. Panossian is additionally one of three top surgical experts in the United States who treats a rare condition called neurofibromatosis. He has been a volunteer surgeon with Mending Kids for 10 plus years and is a member of our Board of Directors. He participates annually in our Hometown Mission and has treated many of our international surgical care patients who traveled to the U.S. for care. He also initiated Mending Kids' first surgical mission to Armenia in 2015. What started as a solo effort to treat underserved pediatric patients in his cultural homeland soon expanded to become a fully-staffed, annual weeklong pilgrimage to provide surgeries as well as an instructional for medical students and doctors in the capital city of Yerevan.