Narrator: People from all over the world come to National Jewish for help. In the New York City area, six-year-old Eric Wong was suffering from a severe case of eczema.
Natalie Wong: He had blisters from head to toe, particularly on his fingers. He really couldn't hold a pencil. His legs were swollen from his condition. It was very painful for him to move. He couldn't walk. And as a parent, you instinctively know that your child is really sick. And when you see a doctor, you just know that the doctor's not treating him correctly; you don't know the right questions to ask.
Narrator: In Oklahoma City, Clifford McKenzie's life had almost come to a standstill.
Clifford McKenzie: Any type of exercise... I just couldn't do it. Had to stop, take a breath. Light-headedness, dizziness... I'd get up out of bed or even out of the chair and get very dizzy. I think probably one of the worst feelings is when people tell you there's nothing you can do with it and either live with it or die with it. And to me, that's not an option.
Narrator: As a young woman in San Diego, severe asthma was killing Diane Cushman Neil.
Diane Cushman Neil: At 22 years old, I was told I had six months to live. My father had the opportunity to work with Dr. Coop, who at the time was surgeon general, and he said to Dr. Coop "Where can we get her help? I want my daughter to live." And Dr. Coop looked at my father and said, "If it were my daughter, there's no question in my mind. There's only one place I would send her, and that's National Jewish.
Narrator: At National Jewish, Diane, Eric, and Clifford all found dedicated experts who provided life-saving answers. The Wongs discovered Dr. Donald Leung, a leading expert on pediatric eczema.
Natalie Wong: He goes "I can help him." These are the words I needed to hear. And I knew that this was the guy I'd been looking for.
Dr. Donald Leung: At National Jewish, over the course of one year, we see hundreds of kids with severe eczema. And we are very successful at taking care of these patients.
Narrator: Clifford's heart had been repeatedly tested while at rest. As head of the Cardiology Department at National Jewish, Dr. Howard Weinberger determined that they needed to try a new direction.
Dr. Howard Weinberger: We developed a test to look for a short circuit in the blood within the heart, both at rest and with exercise, to see if that brought out what aggravated this type of condition.
Narrator: When Dr. Richard Martin examined Diane, he found evidence of an unusual bacterial infection in her lungs.
Dr. Richard Martin: It's never really been reported in the literature that it's a potential cause of worsening asthma.
Narrator: Dr. Martin's discovery led to a treatment that saved Diane's life and launched a major research initiative funded by the National Institute of Health that promises to help asthma patients around the word. Today, these patients and thousands like them are enjoying life again.
Natalie Wong: On our way to National Jewish, I had him in a wheelchair. Coming home eighteen days later, he was running! Running.
Clifford McKenzie: I think if I hadn't gone to National Jewish, I would've been an invalid. I wouldn't be able to enjoy my grandchildren or a lot of things I'm enjoying now.
Diane Cushman Neil: I did my triathlon in San Diego where they gave me six months to live, but I went back to show them fifteen years later that I wasn't going to have six months to live. And in the words of Dr. Martin, this was going to be the longest six months anybody has ever seen. And I was going to be victorious.
Natalie Wong: They brought my son back. So I can't even imagine life without National Jewish.
Michael Salem: When patients come through the door at National Jewish, it's a unique healthcare experience because they know that no matter what, no matter how many physicians they've seen, no matter how thick their chart is, we're going to do everything in our power to try to figure it out and help them and their families.
Diane Cushman Neil: And that's why National Jewish is different than any other university or research center in the world. There is nothing like it and there will never be anything like it.
Narrator: Thank you for supporting us as we transform so many lives through science. We need your support to continue to serve these people and help others who come to us for help.
Clifford McKenzie: I only wish I was more affluent so I could become a big donor. In my own way, I have an extensive collection of Indian art and I plan on giving that to the hospital. It's my way of saying thank you.
Natalie Wong: We should support National Jewish because their research helps children or even adults with this condition. It will help people learn about this illness and that there is hope out there. And hope is at National Jewish.