SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. -- Eli Carson Whittaker of New City, who was known as the "tiny baby with the big heart," has been named the grand marshal of the 12th annual Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day on Sunday, May 1.
The event will benefit the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, which cares for the area's most seriously ill and injured children.
The Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day draws former patients, their families, Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital staff and supportive community members from around the region for a casual one-mile walk and family-fun activities.
Eli Carson learned of the honor of being named grand marshal during a special ceremony Friday at his school, Summit Park Elementary School in New City. During the event, Linda Hurwitz, R.N., Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s vice president of patient care services, presented Eli Carson with a specially tailored grand marshal sash.
The ceremony took place in front of school administrators, teachers, Eli Carson’s family and 100-plus kindergarten and first-grade students.
As grand marshal, Eli Carson will lead thousands of participants around WMCHealth’s main campus in Valhalla during the event’s signature procession.
Eli Carson was born at just 24 weeks' gestation, weighed a mere 1 pound 6 ounces and had a list of life-threatening health issues longer than his tiny body. But with the help of the clinical staff in Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s Regional neonatal intensive care unit, the odds of his survival turned in his favor.
Today, Eli Carson is 5 years old, enjoying kindergarten and meeting many growth milestones. As grand marshal, he will represent the more than 20,000 children cared for each year by the pediatric services offered at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.
To learn more about the Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day, including how participants can support advanced children’s healthcare in the region, interested parties are encouraged to visit events.westchestermedicalcenter.com/walk .
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.