16 Jun Connecting Through Sports
Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know that can make things happen. This is a favorite saying in the world of business networking. It also holds true for just about anything in life, especially if you’re truly determined to make something happen.
Through a chance conversation with his boss about his daughter, Lily, Fitz Ollison, Senior Director of Football Communications at the New Orleans Saints was led to the Hannah Storm Foundation. While speaking to his boss, Greg about little Lily’s “bruise bump” on her forehead, he suggested Fitz speak to Hannah Storm at ESPN about all the great work she and her foundation was doing for children with these conditions. Fitz and his wife, Kilian reached out and after several emails and phone calls, Lily and her mom and dad traveled to New York City for Dr. Milton Waner, the foremost expert in this field, to perform a fat injection procedure surgery to minimize the bruising and reduce the swelling on her forehead.
Connecting Through Sports
The following excerpt is from Kilian after their first meeting with Dr. Milton Waner at Lenox Hill Hospital and before her surgery:
“Today I was reminded of how grateful I am that Fitz works in the NFL. Today was a day where the perks of his job changed our lives and more importantly Lily’s life. For the last 9 months we’ve worried about the “bruise” or “bump” on Lily’s forehead. I’ve shrugged off the random comments from strangers asking if Lily fell down or bumped her head on something. I’ve prayed a lot and remained positive that there would be an answer. I prayed that we could fix her. We saw doctors and specialists and teams of doctors… some who weren’t sure what it was and some who thought it was a hematoma or a venous malformation. I just wanted an answer. I just wanted someone who could tell me with 100% certainty that they knew what the blue mark was on her forehead.
Then Fitz’s boss, Greg said you have to talk to Hannah Storm at ESPN-she can help you. She started a foundation that has brought awareness to hemangiomas and vascular anomalies and with her help Lily got to meet Dr. Milton Waner in New York City. He’s one of the best in the field and he diagnosed her with a RICH hemangioma. Today he told us that we have options. Finally, we have answers. We feel grateful and blessed that we got to meet Dr. Waner today and we are so encouraged that he can help her. You never know what your children are going to face in life, but I know I can’t do it all alone and I’m grateful for the help along the way.”
Update on Lily
Lily is now a very happy and active 1-year old and showing improvement from her fat injection procedure. There is still a slight indentation and the color is still there, and she will most likely need to have a touch up procedure possibly later this summer but things are moving in the right direction for Lily, Fitz and Kilian. We will continue to follow Lily’s journey here so please check back for updates. For more information about vascular anomalies, the Hannah Storm Foundation and how you can help, please visit our website.