We Conquered Chiari: Patients and Parents Tell Their Stories

Here at the Weill Cornell Medicine Brain and Spine Center, we're proud of the success we've had treating Chiari. We know that a new diagnosis of Chiari can be a frightening, so we asked some of our former patients to share their stories to give you a firsthand look at their experiences and their success.

We also know how frightening any diagnosis can be for a parent — if your child has been diagnosed with Chiari, you're no doubt extremely worried about the surgery and its outcome. That's why we thought it was important to get the parents of our patients to share their experiences with you. You are not alone in your worries, and parents who have been through this can help alleviate some of your concerns.

Also, our Parent-to-Parent program can connect you personally with a parent whose child has been treated for the condition your child has. If you would like to speak to a parent who's been there, please call our office at 212-746-2363 and we'll facilitate an introduction for you.

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What our Patients Say

Slaton Spinks was small when he was born, but he seemed healthy. As the Texas baby grew, however, his parents, Brandee and Kevin, started to note some peculiarities. “He was delayed, and he just did things differently,” Brandee recalls. “He’d do the...
Cole Sparks was never one to complain. The active 12-year-old Long Island boy lived and breathed lacrosse, and his hard work had earned him a place on the local youth travel team. His proud parents, Chris and Marisa, describe him as “stoic,...
Joe and Christine Pecoraro write about their son Caleb, who underwent surgery with Dr. Greenfield for basilar invagination and Chiari malformation.
Ashleigh and Patrick Kennedy spent four years trying to find out why their little girl was so sick. She was already being treated for a blood disorder, but doctors said her headaches were not related to that. Her eventual diagnosis and treatment for...
Danielle Dietz had a lot of headaches as a high school student, but it wasn't until she learned to trust herself that she found the solution she needed
Sarah and Doug DeMarrais never expected to become champions for Chiari — a condition they'd never even heard of until their daughter was diagnosed. Here is their story.
Kelly, a swimming champ and Olympic hopeful, resisted Chiari surgery until the pain became unbearable. This is her story. I am one of three girls in my family — all competitive swimmers. My parents wanted us to learn to swim after my uncle drowned....
Patti Ventura was shocked by her son's diagnosis, but she transformed her initial shock into determination to secure the best outcome for him. Since that time she's also raised thousands of dollars to help support Chiari research. Here is her story....
Connor was a 15-year-old high school student when he was diagnosed with a severe Chiari Malformation. Here is his story.

Our Care Team

  • Chairman and Neurosurgeon-in-Chief
  • Margaret and Robert J. Hariri, MD ’87, PhD ’87 Professor of Neurological Surgery
  • Vice Provost of Business Affairs and Integration
Phone: 212-746-4684
  • Vice Chairman for Academic Affairs
  • Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery, Pediatric Neurosurgery
  • Associate Residency Director
Phone: 212-746-2363
  • Victor and Tara Menezes Clinical Scholar in Neuroscience
  • Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery in Pediatrics
Phone: 212-746-2363
  • Vice Chairman, Neurological Surgery
  • Director, Pediatric Neurological Surgery
Phone: 212-746-2363

Weill Cornell Medicine Brain & Spine Center 525 East 68 Street, Box 99 New York, NY 10065 Phone: 866-426-7787