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Published on June 10, 2019

Every Step of the Way: Helping the Hunt Family

Helping the Hunt Family

Soon after Hosanna Hunt was born at Women’s Hospital in 2011 her parents Ariane and Caleb Hunt learned their daughter had a rare condition, which would require ongoing visits to Cone Health. More recently, they learned their youngest daughter, 3-year old Mary-Grace, has the same condition. For 7 years and counting, they have formed strong bonds with Cone Health’s Meiko Brown, RDMS, (AB) (RVT) (VT), Sandy “Misti” Howard, R.T. (R), RDMS, (AB), and others who have helped them every step of the way.

The Hunt family first learned about hemihyperplasia, a genetic overgrowth condition, from Cone Health’s Pam Reitnauer, MD, MPH, PhD, who specializes in pediatric medical genetics.

“While I later learned my grandmother had one leg longer than the other and wore different sized shoes, no one [in our family] knew what caused this,” recalls Ariane. “When Hosanna was born, we learned about her condition from Dr. Reitnauer right away.”

In addition to atypical growth issues, which can be addressed through surgery, patients with hemihyperplasia are at an increased risk for developing cancers of the liver and kidneys. As a result, frequent monitoring with sonography and blood work aid in early detection.

For the Greensboro-based Hunt family of 8 – which includes 4 biological children and 2 adopted children – being able to take Hosanna and now Mary-Grace to nearby Cone Health every 3 months has been a lifesaver. Ariane says she has pediatrician David Rubin, MD, to thank for referring her to Cone Health.

A former teacher, Ariane recalls juggling caring for her children and the landscaping business she operates with her husband while managing hospital visits. She says early morning trips to Cone Health with a hungry infant, diaper bag, stroller and sometimes extra children in tow were manageable because of caring providers who went out of their way to help her.

Meiko, Hosanna and Misty celebrate Hosanna’s last ultrasound

(Left to right): Meiko, Hosanna and Misty celebrate Hosanna’s last ultrasound.

“Meiko made what could be a hard situation easy and even enjoyable,” recalls Ariane. “When I would…bring my hungry baby early in the morning, Meiko made sure I had the chance to nurse her right after she was done. When I expressed how the lab we had gone to had a hard time drawing Hosanna's blood, Meiko showed me where to go at Cone Health so that we could get the blood drawn in one visit with more experienced and expert care. The valet service made a huge difference, too.”

“It is rare to see the same person [at a hospital] much less the same ones for years,” adds Ariane. “Meiko and then Misti treated Hosanna as an old friend each time she came, and Hosanna looked forward to seeing them. Even Wanda [Baskerville] at the front desk greeted her by name.”

As the Hunt family celebrates Hosanna’s last screening and being cancer free, they feel comforted knowing Mary-Grace is in good hands.

“We are so glad to have friendly and consistent faces to go through this journey with us again,” concludes Ariane.

Patient Stories