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This is Penn State Health

Patient Stories

This is who we dedicate our lives to, giving them the health they need to live the way they want.

Gabriella Asadi dances on a stage, smiling at her mother and brother. The backs of their heads are shown from behind as they sit in their audience seats.

This is living life in focus

Gabriella Asadi uses every part of her 8-year-old self to express her creativity – her hands are meant for drawing, her arms are meant for hugging, and her feet are meant for dancing.

Paul Brennan kisses his daughter Lilly’s forehead as he holds her in his arms. They are standing in front of a row of American flags. He has short hair and is wearing a polo shirt. She has shoulder-length hair, is wearing a flowered dress and is smiling. Behind them are trees.

This is what heroes look like

For Paul Brennan, serving in active combat in Afghanistan was an honor and a sacrifice he was willing to make for his country – even if it meant not seeing his infant daughter.

Krista Carroll of Shippensburg smiles with her children Madden, 6, and Jillian, 3, in a black and white portrait. They are sitting on a couch. Krista is wearing a sweater and casual top. Madden is leaning his head on his mother’s back and is wearing a long-sleeved shirt. Jillian is sitting in her mother’s lap and wearing a polka-dotted shirt. Behind them is a log cabin wall, a curtain and pillows on a chair.

This is Krista’s happily ever after

Krista Carroll always wanted to be a mom.

A place deep inside of her longed to be filled with what she had lost so early in life – her mother.

JuJu Rivera, a five-year-old boy from Lebanon who received three heart surgeries at Penn State Children’s Hospital, makes muscles with both arms as he stands in his bedroom. He has a vertical scar on his chest and is wearing a towel on his back like a superhero cape and pajama pants. Behind him, his bed is covered with a bedspread decorated with dinosaurs.

This is JuJu’s superpower

When JuJu Rivera and his mom shop at the local discount store in Lebanon, it’s hard to know who’s the real greeter—the person at the door or JuJu.

Tim Card of Mount Joy, Pa., the first patient at Penn State Cancer Institute to receive CAR-T therapy, rides on a stationary bike in his garage. He is wearing a sweatshirt, T-shirt and bike shorts. Behind him is a shelf filled with sports equipment and bike helmets on the wall. A garage door opener and a light are above him.

This is fighting cancer from the inside

As the owner of a CrossFit gym in Lancaster, Tim Card was known for inspiring others to their personal best - just like he challenged himself to the same.