Our Hero Vivienne

Our Hero Vivienne

South Florida was supposed to be a bright new start for Vivienne’s family.

They moved here in sunny July to be closer to the her grandparents. Dad was starting a new job. Mom Sarah was enjoying spending time with her two-year-old.

Everything seemed normal, Vivienne just had a few random fevers and some crying. She seemed to be napping more. That’s just being a kid. Right?

Then, in September, Vivienne’s health changed. A seemingly sore foot caused her to start limping. Then using furniture to walk.
Her teacher at school was concerned. The little girl wasn’t just missing mommy when she cried. She didn’t come running when mommy came back.

With no Primary Care Physician in place and insurance just kicking in, the family headed to Urgent Care. The doctor there was worried about her weak legs and pain.

At the doctors instruction, they raced to the hospital. Mom was searching her phone franticly for possibilities. She some how know what it was.


It was so advanced, Vivienne remained in the hospital that night and started chemo the next day. The family would remain there for three months.

Vivienne stopped talking. She wasn’t walking at all. Doctors were concerned.

Mom’s intuition told her she wanted more than just a regular pediatrician. They need someone who would help guide them.
Leaving the hospital, they were referred to Early Steps at CDTC. Vivienne received Physical, Speech and Occupational Therapy, which was crucial to Vivienne’s healing and functioning.

Dr. Robinson became their Primary Care Physician and, at age 3, Vivienne aged out of Early Steps and joined the ECHO program to continue support and services.

Caring for a child with special healthcare needs can be lonely. It’s hard to discuss your problems when they make others uncomfortable.

They found a partner in Alison, their ECHO Coordinator. “Allison is invaluable,” shares Sarah, “She made the whole situation more manageable during a very difficult time.”

Together they address concerns, make plans for Vivienne’s care, and celebrate her milestones. Mom can ask her for advice on anything for Vivienne and they talk through it until mom and dad can make a choice with confidence.

Two years later, Vivienne is in remission. She talks a mile a minute. She’s not just walking again, she’s running. The four-year-old is in preschool too.

The family is still discovering resources thanks to their CDTC Care Team. Those other organizations are great, but the Center is a necessity.

“This is the place to get things you need for your child,” shares Sarah.  

About our Hero of the Month

Each month, CDTC staff nominate one of our children as our Hero of the Month. These special boys and girls are heroes in our eyes. They show strength, perseverance, determination and a positive outlook while facing great challenges.

Their stories are powerful and heartwarming and reflect the impact CDTC and you, our community, has on their daily lives.

A trip to our Clinic is more than just a doctor’s visit to a child with special healthcare needs.

But, insurance doesn’t cover everything. That’s why your gift is so important.