After Successful Neurosurgery, Local Boy, 6, Appointed Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Ambassador

VALHALLA, N.Y. (June 28, 2021) — Six-year-old Derek Blau of Nanuet was recently cheered on by friends, family and community members during a special ceremony where representatives from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital appointed him as a hospital ambassador for the 17th Annual Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day. Derek was presented with an official sash designating him as an ambassador for the walk scheduled for Sunday, September 12. The annual fundraiser for the Hudson Valley’s children’s hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), regularly draws thousands of participants.

Derek was diagnosed with a chiari malformation, a structural skull defect that pushes a portion of the brain into the spinal column. The condition can result in pain, muscle weakness, breathing problems and other symptoms. Neurosurgery at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital helped relieve Derek of his symptoms, and now he is eager to support the hospital as a Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day ambassador.

As one of the Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day ambassadors, Derek will help represent the more than 30,000 seriously ill and injured children cared for by Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital annually. Those seeking to support Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and its advanced care mission by participating in the Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day should call 914.493.2575 or visit Give.WMCHealth.org/GTD21.


About Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is the children’s hospital for New York’s Hudson Valley region and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Located in Valhalla, NY, this 136-bed advanced pediatrics facility cares for the region’s most seriously ill and injured children including those in need of cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, hematology and oncology treatments, organ transplants and other specialty pediatric services.  Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is also home to the area’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Level I pediatric trauma and burn care programs and its Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  For more information on Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, interested parties can visit WestchesterMedicalCenter.org/MFCH or follow the hospital at Facebook.com/MFCHatWMC and Twitter.com/MFCHatWMC.

About Westchester Medical Center Health Network


The Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) is a 1,700-bed healthcare system headquartered in Valhalla, New York, with 10 hospitals on eight campuses spanning 6,200 square miles of the Hudson Valley. WMCHealth employs more than 12,000 people and has nearly 3,000 attending physicians. From Level 1, Level 2 and Pediatric Trauma Centers, the region’s only acute care children’s hospital, an academic medical center, several community hospitals, dozens of specialized institutes and centers, skilled nursing, assisted living facilities, homecare services and one of the largest mental health systems in New York State, today WMCHealth is the pre-eminent provider of integrated healthcare in the Hudson Valley. For more information about WMCHealth, visit WMCHealth.org.

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