Special Series

Sometimes a story is so powerful or interesting that we present our readers with a special series. By clicking on the below descriptions, you’ll be able to see all the stories in each of our incredible series. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

'I didn't fight alone'

As 7-year-old Naomi Wilke battles two forms of leukemia, she must undergo months of treatment far from home. But she and her mother find strength from a new family—her medical caregivers.

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From the heart

Nearly 1 in 100 babies each year is born with a congenital heart defect. Currently up to 1.3 million adults are living with congenital heart disease. In this heart-warming series, we share the stories of Congenital Heart Center patients who refuse to be defeated.

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Smile, baby!

A pediatric plastic surgeon pioneers a technique to repair cleft palates that leads to better speech and jaw development for children.

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‘The bionic man’

When Drew Garcia loses his leg in a car accident, he shows grit and determination as he fights to return to the basketball court.

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To Haiti, with love

A “mini airlift” brings several children for life-changing medical treatment. The young patients touch the hearts of the many volunteers involved in their care.

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Life for Lilly

The special package, flown in express from Europe, is a ‘bag of life’ for Lilly who’s undergoing a bone marrow transplant thanks to a stranger’s heartfelt donation. In this special Health Beat series, Lilly takes us through her journey as a way of promoting the gift of life.

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Humans of Spectrum Health

Who are the people behind the lab coats, scrubs and name badges? What experiences have made them who they are today? This series shows the human side of the caregivers who are proud to call Spectrum Health their work home.

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‘An awesome life’

As Benny Boes battles a rare brain tumor, he works to make the most of each day. He and his wife, Elise, see every moment they have together as a gift to treasure.

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Keep on Smiling

Todd Alward’s muscles are slowly deteriorating as ALS does its work. But his indomitable spirit shines brightly and he’s determined to keep on smiling, no matter what. This special Health Beat series chronicles Todd’s thoughts on health, life, and the hereafter.

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Building Healthier Communities

Healthier Communities dedicates $6 million each year to community programs for underserved individuals. They focus on improving children’s health, reducing infant mortality, and helping at-risk adults prevent and manage chronic disease.

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Eating the Mediterranean Way

Did you know eating a Mediterranean diet could prevent or even reverse metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes?

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Little magic man

Jazir plays with action figures, but no one would blink if he declared his real superhero the 42-year-old man who supplied a kidney and a new way of life for a little boy who waited so long.

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Bulletin Board Eyes

You pass their messages, posted in bustling, busy places. Some are people on paper, with fliers posted on bulletin boards. Others use community and online bulletins boards. This special Health Beat series profiles people with bulletin board eyes.

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Seeking Volunteer Spirit

They share time, joy and talents. They help visitors find their way along unfamiliar hallways, sooth newborn babies, and offer cheer to diffuse worries. We salute our more than 2,300 volunteers with this special Health Beat series.

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A (Dog's) Day in the Life

These Spectrum Health police dogs make their rounds every day, coaxing smiles and bringing joy to patients, staff and visitors of all ages. Their job is to be lovable, but also to stand guard. The pet paparazzi follow them wherever they go.

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