One to GROW on

May 28, 2008 4:07:38 PM PDT
This is the time of year for graduations across the Delaware Valley, and today the Action Cam was at one ceremony at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children where "diplomas" were awarded to a much younger group of graduates. St. Christopher's teamed up with the Drexel University School of Public health, to host the graduation event for a group of children in the hospital's "Grow Clinic."

All the graduates were pediatric patients.

18 toddlers marched to the tune of "Pomp and Circumstance" receive their GROWTH certificates.

Of course at this age, one of the most difficult things about an event like this is keeping your graduation cap on.

And it can be a challenge just keeping it straight?it's never easy to smile on command...or stop sucking your fingers...and you sympathize with the girl who can't stay awake?because all that standing can really wear you out! But the true struggle for these young 2-to-4 year olds has been a condition known as "failure to thrive" where they didn't maintain a normal weight.

"If the children are not getting calories or gaining weight appropriately, it can affect their growth and development. It can have effects on their cognition and IQ," said clinic medical director Dr. Hans Kersten.

So these young "graduates" have reason to be happy, as they all have met their individual growth goals.

Nicholas Quinones, his mom and dad know they could not have come this far without the Grow Clinic.

"Part of the GROW Clinic was to give us some ideas for him to enjoy eating," said Nelson Quinones, Nicholas' father.

Teriah Schley and her mom are also thankful for the Grow Clinic.

"Just to be able to feel like I had support," said Teriah's mother Teri.

"We are all cheering on the young children, but it's really the parents who make all the difference," said Mariana Chilton, the clinic's executive director.