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Healed & ready to help

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Kelsey Bohman is having lunch with some really good hockey players this Sunday. “It’s kind of cool to have lunch with the Avs,” said the 14-year-old, with a sheepish smile. It’s all part of being selected as a 2003 ambassador for Denver’s Children’s Hospital. This year, Kelsey is one of 10 children chosen to represent the hospital at more than 30 fund-raising and media events throughout the state this year.For Kelsey, Children’s Hospital is a very familiar place. The eighth grader successfully overcame acute myeloid leukemia, and received a bone marrow transplant from her father, John, at the hospital. Children’s provides 100 specialized pediatric care services within a 13-state region. Back in August 2000, “I didn’t really think I was sick,” said Kelsey. But Kelsey’s mom, Pat Bohman, who is a nurse, noticed a large bruise on Kelsey’s thigh.”She wasn’t eating, and she had this ashen pallor,” Pat said. “I wanted to think she just had a virus, but we had her checked out and that’s when she was diagnosed.”During treatment between August 2000 and May 2001, Kelsey and her mom spent about 80 percent of their time at Children’s.”Kelsey grew very close to her medical team and considers them part of our family,” said Pat. In fact, it was Rodger Giller, Kelsey’s transplant doctor, who nominated her for the ambassador post. Serving as one of Children’s ambassadors will allow Kelsey to stay in touch with the hospital’s doctors, nurses and staff members. With a clean bill of health, she’s nearing the end of once-a-month appointments at the hospital so the ambassador program will help her keep close tabs on her friends.”Doing” lunch with members of the Colorado Avalanche and participating in a Neiman Marcus fashion show at the Westin Tabor Center will constitute one of three events Kelsey will attend. She and her family will raise money for Children’s by riding in the 2003 Courage Classic, a three-day bicycle tour this summer. She’ll also attend the hospital’s gala dinner dance in September at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. With her increasingly good health, Kelsey started back at St. Stephen’s School in Glenwood Springs last fall. She got a new pair of skis this year, and hit the slopes at Sunlight. And she also hit the ground recently – breaking her left arm just above the wrist.She’s all healed up, and her purple cast is coming off at the end of this week.”She kind of wanted to keep it on so the Avs could sign it,” said Pat.In the meantime, Pat is learning how to not be “a helicopter mom … you know, hovering around the kid. Kids are kids. I’m learning to let her get out there and do what she’s going to do.”Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518cclick@postindependent.com


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