Dr. Peter Sturm
Chief of Staff
Shriners Hospital for Children
2211 North Oak Park Ave.
Chicago, IL 60707
Dear Dr. Sturm,
My name is Aishah Valencia, and I am contacting you on behalf of the family of Huntar and Barbara Gustafson.
I am writing to you at this time to appeal for information regarding Huntar’s case. I realize that you will be leaving Shriners at the end of the month, and that Huntar’s case has been passed onto another doctor. If at all possible could you please help us understand the status of Huntar’s case by addressing the following questions:
• What are the criteria used to determine whether Shriners will perform a surgery or not?
• Given that Shriners advised Huntar’s surgery be performed not much later than mid-September, should we be concerned that the surgery was not performed within the bounds of the suggested timeframe?
• Is there a point at which surgery is deemed to risky for the hospital to assume? If so, have we reached this point?
• I understand that Shriners treats children with rare disorders, including spinal deformities. Being that Huntar is the 3rd diagnosed case in the U.S., the 9th in the world, could his surgery be used to reinforce Shriner’s excellent reputation for groundbreaking research and care?
Quite frankly, our last hope for Huntar’s future well-being lies in the good hands of Shriners Chicago. As I am sure you can understand, Huntar’s family, friends, and well-wishing strangers are anxious about disposition of Huntar’s case. Huntar is from Houghton¬¬, a small town in Upper Michigan. Many members of the community have come together to do what they can to support Barbara and Huntar—emotionally and financially. Articles have been written about Huntar and letters have been sent to the likes of Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres Show, etc. Numerous fundraisers have been held and many avenues have been explored. Shriners Chicago taking interest in Huntar’s case is a saving grace. We are eager to schedule a surgery and would very much appreciate any additional information you are willing to provide on Huntar’s case. Thank you!
Sincerely a concerned family friend,