Four-Year-Old Heart Surgery Patient to Lead Thousands as Grand Marshal of Important Fundraising Event for Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center

Jan 28, 2010, 13:02 ET from Westchester Medical Center

Funds Raised Will Support Hospital Growth Projects

VALHALLA, N.Y., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Most newborns are on their way home from the hospital at three days old, but Andrew Busenbark was unlike most newborns. Born with a series of congenital heart defects, Andrew, at just three days old, was undergoing nearly 20 hours of open heart surgeries at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center.

The surgeries were successful and the now four year-old Andrew is happy and healthy, a symbol of Maria Fareri Children's Hospital's world-class pediatric cardiac surgery program and Grand Marshal of the 2010 Go the Distance event, a walk and family fun day supporting the hospital that saved Andrew's life.

Andrew's official appointment as Grand Marshal will occur at the Go the Distance Kickoff Breakfast Saturday, February 6, at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital in Valhalla, New York.  Andrew will be joined by his parents, Megan and Brian Busenbark, who reside with Andrew in New Fairfield, Connecticut.  Mike Bennett of 100.7 WHUD-FM's morning team of "Mike & Kacey" will host the breakfast.

Go the Distance, which includes a casual, one-mile walk and a host of family activities, is the biggest fundraising event for Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, the advanced-care pediatric facility for Fairfield County, Connecticut and New York's Hudson Valley region. Go the Distance draws thousands of participants – former patients, their families, hospital staff and supportive community members – and raises as much as $500,000 for the hospital each year.  This year's Go the Distance event will occur Sunday, April 18.

Growing to Meet a Critical Need

In 2010, funds raised by Go the Distance participants will support the development of a new, free-standing Ronald McDonald House as well as a new in-patient unit, or "neighborhood", at the hospital.  Since Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center opened its doors five years ago, the facility has consistently operated at or over capacity.  Alone, the new neighborhood will allow the hospital to treat more than 450 additional children each year. These are important projects because Maria Fareri Children's Hospital treats the region's most critically ill and injured children.  

As Grand Marshal, Andrew will lead the procession of walkers around the Westchester Medical Center campus. To learn more about Andrew, Go the Distance and how to participate, interested parties are encouraged to visit

About Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center

Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center is the only all-specialty children's hospital in the Hudson Valley region and Fairfield County, Connecticut.  It is a local and national leader in pediatric care and an advocate for children's health and wellness.

The hospital is home to the area's only intensive care unit dedicated to the treatment of children as well as the region's only Level IV (most sophisticated) neonatal intensive care unit. Maria Fareri Children's Hospital's pediatric asthma research center is one of only a handful in the nation sponsored by the American Lung Association, it has one of the few metabolic centers designated by New York State and its pediatric cardiovascular and pediatric transplant services are recognized for their success rates.

For more information, please visit

SOURCE Westchester Medical Center