Haumea Friel continues to inspire others with her message to “never give up.” Born with a rare birth defect that caused one leg to be shorter than the other, Haumea first shared her story of overcoming adversity during her time as the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Champion for Kapiolani Medical Center for Women’s & Children in 2020-21.
Now, the bubbly and vibrant 7-year-old has been named a 2022 National Champion by CMN Hospitals – a first for a child from Hawaii.
More about Hawaii’s 2022 CMN Hospitals National Champion:
- Haumea was born with proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), a condition that affects about one in every 200,000 children and causes the upper part of the femur bone to be either malformed or missing.
- Her rare condition required an experienced multidisciplinary team at Kapiolani to create a customized plan of care, which included more than 10 surgeries before the age of 5.
- In 2019, she underwent a complex 16-hour surgical procedure called rotationplasty and received a prosthetic leg she named “Sparkle.”
- Her journey continues today through regular physical therapy appointments at Kapiolani.
Haumea and her parents, Kainoa and Calen Friel, accepted the honor in Orlando, Florida, this week as part of celebrations for Children’s Hospitals Week. The Honolulu ohana were joined by Kapiolani’s newest CMN Champion, Xander Cabales, and his family.
Every year, CMN Hospitals recognizes a select number of children and families for the role of National Champion. Haumea is one of 11 children recognized this year to raise awareness, support and funds for the 170 CMN hospitals in the U.S. and Canada.
Kapiolani Medical Center is Hawaii’s only CMN hospital. Gifts made in Hawaii, stay in Hawai‘i, with 100% of the funds going to help local keiki.