Eight-Year-Old Lake Grove, LI Boy Donates Piggy Bank Savings to North Shore-LIJ’s Chiari Institute

1/08/2013
Nicholas Alfieri

Media Contact: Michelle Pipia-Stiles
(516) 313-1708
mpipiastil@nshs.edu


MANHASSET, NY – Eight-year-old Nicholas Alfieri of Lake Grove, Long Island, has been a patient of North Shore-LIJ’s Chiari Institute for the past seven years.  When Nicholas was 18 months old, he was diagnosed with Chiari malformation, a structural problem at the base of the skull where the back part of the brain called the cerebellum slips into the spinal canal.  This results in compression of the brain stem and spinal cord.

Since Nicholas’s diagnosis, he has undergone multiple surgeries at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY.  Through each surgery, Nicholas showed amazing courage and strength.  However, there are still challenges ahead for Nicholas as he is often in pain.

Over the past holiday season, Nicholas said to his mother, “I have so much pain and I want doctors to find a cure.  I know that there’s a cure for some cancers and maybe we can find a cure for Chiari malformation.”  With that, Nicholas took his piggy bank, opened it and poured out $20 worth of saved coins and wrote,  “For Research,” on a card addressed to North Shore-LIJ’s Chiari Institute.

Nicholas's mother, Mrs. Ann Marie Alfieri recalls, “At that moment, I was as proud as any mother could be that Nicholas would want to donate all of the saved money from his piggy bank to a cause that has affected his life so much in the hope that doctors will someday find a cure for him and for all of those who suffer from Chiari malformation.”

Paolo Bolognese, MD, neurosurgeon and associate director of North Shore-LIJ’s Chiari Institute, said, ”When our staff opened the envelope from Nicholas with his saved money and sweet note, it warmed all of our hearts that someone as young as him had the compassion and desire to give for research.  We are extremely proud of him.”

For more information about North Shore-LIJ’s Chiari Institute go to http://www.chiariinstitute.com or to make an appointment, call (516) 570-4400.