2023 Hasbro Children's Hospital Radiothon Stories

Hasbro Children’s Hospital Names Ethan James its 2023 Champion Child

Ethan JamesBorn with sickle cell disease, the 10-year-old Coventry boy has been a lifelong patient of the hospital, who has overcome his medical challenges with courage and determination

Ethan James has come a long way since being diagnosed with sickle cell disease one week after birth, and the now 10-year-old can add another milestone to what he’s accomplished along the way. Recently, Hasbro Children’s Hospital named the Coventry boy its 2023 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion Child.

Ethan, who’s been cared for at Hasbro Children’s and its Tomorrow Fund Clinic since his diagnosis, was nominated by the hospital for overcoming his medical challenges with courage and determination. As the Champion Child, Ethan will spend the year as a pediatric ambassador, highlighting the work of Hasbro Children’s.

“It’s really exciting to be the champion child,” says Ethan. “Hasbro Children’s Hospital has done so much for me and the people there are really nice – they take good care of me and always make me feel like a kid. Because of them I don’t let anything hold me back.”

Shortly after Ethan was born, blood tests revealed sickle cell disease – a genetic disorder in which red blood cells are abnormal and die early, causing a constant shortage of the cells that carry oxygen. The condition is further complicating in that it leads to increased risk of blood clotting due to the cells being misshaped. In the instance of a clot, there is severe pain and risks that include acute chest syndrome and stroke.

Ethan JamesFortunately for Ethan and his family, Hasbro Children’s is close to home, where its expertise in disorders of the blood has made a world of difference both managing Ethan’s condition and during times of emergency. For most children, a typical fever is just that. But for Ethan, a fever can be life-threatening. It is imperative to pinpoint the cause of the fever or pain before the onset of a sickle cell crisis. On more than one occasion, Ethan has needed the emergency department and been hospitalized.

“We have experienced every emotion possible at Hasbro Children’s and there is no question that the experience and knowledge of the caring staff is what has given our son the greatest gift, which is the chance of a normal life,” says Sachoy James, Ethan’s mom. “It’s impossible to put into words what the hospital means to us and how important it is to shed light on sickle cell disease.”

Through it all, Ethan has been a pillar of strength, not allowing what makes him unique to make him different. With regular check-ins, blood draws, and daily medication, Ethan is no different than your regular 4th grader. He’s thriving in school, loves playing LEGO, painting, and watching Marvel movies. And if you ask him his favorite food, there’s a 100 percent chance he tells you Iggy’s doughboys.

Adds Ethan’s father, Clayton, “It was so devastating to get the news of Ethan’s diagnosis that we couldn’t see past the baby stage or envision him at ten years old like he is today. But the future offers hope, and I think of Hasbro Children’s as his third parent and what brings that hope… a hope that he lives a very long, very healthy life.”

“Ethan is a remarkable boy whose smile instantly brightens the room,” said Saul N. Weingart, MD, PhD, president of Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s hospitals. “He is a delightful person, an expert LEGO builder, and a perfect ambassador for our hospital and our mission of serving the patients, families, and communities who need us.”

Ethan James

Watch Ethan's appearance on The Rhode Show >>

For more information:
Tania Hurtado
Corporate Relations Officer
401-444-6411 • Thurtado2@lifespan.org