At the age of two, Matilda Hopkins was diagnosed with Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (VEDS), a rare genetic condition that often makes the blood vessels and organs fragile and prone to rupture. Because of this diagnosis, seemingly routine, normal activities could prove to be deadly for Matilda. For many, this diagnosis is often left undetected and not discovered until after sudden death. Thankfully, Nationwide Children’s Hospital was able to diagnose Matilda early on, so her family and medical team are able to guide her to safe activities and a long life.
Matilda has not yet had any major issues due to her VEDS, and right now easy bruising is the only outward sign of her condition. However, Matilda needs to lead a life of caution, knowing that playing too hard could cause serious problems. Despite her diagnosis, Matilda is a normal, fun-loving five-year-old girl. She loves games, puzzles, riding her bike and playing with her siblings. She especially enjoys school – so much so that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up.
“Parenting a child with a chronic medical condition is no easy task. Having the support of Matilda's physicians and the devoted, caring staff, as well as the outstanding state-of-art facility of Nationwide Children's Hospital in our backyard has provided reassurance to our family. When so little is controllable with childhood illnesses, it's nice to have the certainty of a great hospital and organization at our fingertips,” says Katya, Matilda’s mom.
The Heart Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital has expertise, compassion and the most advanced technologies. As the leader in pediatric care, Nationwide Children’s offers cardiology services, cardiothoracic surgery, and everything else you would expect to find at a nationally-renowned heart center.
Matilda will not only be giving high fives to all the participants of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, she will be giving them the inspiration and motivation to keep going – even when things get tough.
Mile 20 will be at Bonifacio on the corner of King Avenue and North Star Road. Please consider joining Matilda anytime from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday, October 20. State of Devotion is creating t-shirts and all proceeds will go to Nationwide Children's Hospital. The link is below.