August 25, 2014 – Sneha Dave

We are so excited to introduce yet another new PUDM family! The Riley Kid of the Week this week is Sneha, who is also a 2014 Riley Champion! You can read about her Riley story below.

Sneha was only 6 years old when she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a painful inflammatory bowel disease. “Ulcerative colitis is so challenging that I can’t describe all of its consequences,” explains Sneha. “When the colon is ‘mad’ the whole body takes a beating. My joints would hurt. I developed skin nodules and mouth ulcers. I had fevers all the time. I lost my appetite and wasted away.”

In 2010, her condition took a turn for the worst. Her flare-ups drained her of energy and required heavy medication and multiple hospitalizations. “We saw Sneha’s life turn upside down, spending most of her time in the restroom, bed, and hospital,” explains her mother, Seema. But with the help of the staff at Riley Hospital for children, Sneha and her family gained strength and hope. “The nursing staff, child life specialists, and volunteers went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and bring us happiness during our most difficult times,” recalls Sneha’s father, Sachin.

Now, Sneha volunteers at an area hospital while balancing schoolwork at Center Grove High School, where she is a top student and a Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference Scholar. “Sneha’s positive spirit, resilience, and compassion for helping other patients made her an incredible Riley Champion,” says Riley Child Life Specialist Amanda Banker, who nominated Sneha for this honor.

Sneha’s ultimate goal is to become an interventional radiologist at Riley, following the footsteps of Riley radiologist Francis Marshalleck, M.D. “I want to make a difference in the world. It doesn’t have to be big, but it has to be meaningful,” Sneha promises. “Even a small positive change, one person at time, would be a giant step for humanity.”

We welcome Sneha to PUDM and look forward to learning more about her and her family very soon!