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Miranda Ashland is one busy girl. A thriving high school senior from Saratoga, she’s filling out college applications and starring in her school’s production of Oliver! — and even recently won a spirit week pie-eating contest.
With this packed schedule, Miranda still finds time for another important priority: supporting Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, the place that gave her a second chance at life.

Cause for Hope

The Ashland family first came to Packard Children’s in 1995, when Miranda was just 2 months old and gravely ill with biliary atresia, a serious congenital disease that leads to liver failure. After meeting with transplant specialists, her parents Michele and Tom experienced a new emotion: relief.

“I knew that I was among experts,” Michele recalls. “When you go to Pack¬ard, you hear this underlying tone of, ‘We know what to do and we’re going to take care of your child.’”
Baby Miranda received a successful liver transplant and spent nearly a month recovering at the hospital. Her dedicated care team at Packard Children’s became like extended family, following her closely through regular checkups and helping her overcome post-transplant complications that could have had a tragic outcome. Today, Miranda attributes her good health to 18 years of outstanding care.

Families First

At Packard Children’s, caring for patients isn’t only about pro¬viding world-class medicine. The hospital embraces the value of family-centered care, which recognizes the family as a partner in the well being of their child. This approach, notes Michele, gives families a better understanding of their child’s treatment, and en¬ables doctors to more fully appreciate the family’s point of view.
Michele was so impressed with this model that she began partici¬pating on the Family Advisory Council, eventually joining the Packard staff.

Today, she works with other Packard parents providing input to improve hospital policies and practices, and also helps families get the information they need to take better care of their kids.

Miranda’s grandparents, Marilyn and Arden Anderson, were inspired to give back as well. They are both long-time vol¬unteers at the hospital, and Marilyn belongs to the Palo Alto Auxiliary, which helps raise support for Packard Children’s.

Giving Thanks

In September, Miranda spoke at the groundbreaking celebration for the Packard Children’s expansion project.

“I’m so excited for the expansion of this hospital,” she said be¬fore a standing-room-only crowd. “It means that more families will be able to walk through the doors, receive the care they need, and be given hope that will carry them for the rest of their lives.”

Miranda has grown up at Packard Children’s. She still remembers frequent trips to the cafeteria for frozen yogurt — “with sprinkles,” she laughs. Today, as she transitions into adulthood, she has taken charge of her medical needs, from keeping track of her prescriptions to emailing her care team.

“I used to get my blood drawn sitting on my mom’s lap,” she recalls. “That was a long time ago. Now I have my driver’s license, and I go on my own.”

Even though her final pediatric appointment at Packard Children’s is coming up, she can’t wait to check out the new hospital. When it came time to write her speech for the groundbreaking, Miranda knew exactly what she wanted to say.

“I thought about what the expansion means, and what this hospital has meant for my family. This was my chance to say thank you.”