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Chiari Malformation

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We Conquered Chiari: Patients and Parents Tell Their Stories

Here at the Weill Cornell 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.

Patients and Their Parents

Kasey KennedyKasey Kennedy
Kashey was already being treated for a blood disorder, but doctors said her headaches were not related to that. Her eventual diagnosis and treatment for Chiari gave the Kennedys back an active, happy child. Here, her mom tells the story of how Chiari surgery changed their lives. Read her story

Danielle DietzDanielle Dietz

The most important thing Dr. Greenfield taught her, says Danielle, was to trust herself. “He taught me it’s okay to doubt doctors, and to never let a doctor tell you you’re fine when you know that you aren’t." Read her story


Connor and Patti VenturaConnor Ventura
Connor was a high school soccer star when he was diagnosed with a severe Chiari malformation. After surgery at Weill Cornell, Connor was back on the field in no time. Read his story and watch the video.


Patti Ventura
Connor's mom tells the story of getting his diagnosis while thousands of miles from home, and how her family came to be a part of Weill Cornell's. Read her story.


Kelly DeMarrais
Kelly, a swimming champ and Olympic hopeful, resisted Chiari surgery until the pain became intolerable.
Read her story and watch the video.


Doug and Sarah DeMarrais
Kelly's parents speak from the heart about their experience with Kelly's diagnosis and surgery – and share their pride and gratitude for her return to health. Read their story.


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