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$1,015 raised
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18 contributors
4 Years running

My name is Valerie Deegan.  My son snored as an infant and we all thought it was adorable. By the time he turned ten, he was still snoring, was mouth breathing, had developed a violent temper and was wishing he was dead.  He was one violent temper tantrum away from being admitted to a behavioral health hospital. I had a full psych evaluation performed and it determined Connor was cognitively gifted and had ODD. By serendipitous events, he also had a sleep study done at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.  My son, Connor, was diagnosed with sleep disordered breathing (snoring, mouth breathing, teeth grinding) due to airway restriction.


12% of our nation's children are currently affected by airway restriction. A percentage of those children will die by the age of 40 of sleep apnea, could be unnecessarily medicated due to misdiagnosis of ADHD, or will live violent angry lives if undiagnosed and untreated. Watching my son's positive behavioral and physical changes during treatment has inspired me to share this information with the goal of a national campaign. No amount of counseling or medication was going to change my son's behavior. What needed to change was the quality of sleep my son was getting at night and how he was breathing. I realize this is just a piece of the puzzle when it comes to behavioral disorders, however, it is a piece of the puzzle and cannot be ignored. If one person would have asked me if Connor snored and recommended action to take he would never have known the anger, depression, and solidarity it caused.


A child with sleep disordered breathing will be:






                withdrawn and have learning problems


Sounds like ADHD, eh? If you need to hear it from the professionals, please go to


There are an estimated 8 million "Connor's" out there.  I want to help them all. There is no reason any child should suffer cognitively, socially, or physically if there is a treatment option available.


What I would like to see happen is:


  • engage school nurses in sleep related screening and sleep education for parents, teachers and children.  
  • All pediatricians perform a sleep evaluation (not this 'So how is your child sleeping') during every child's check-up.
  • All Psychologists have access to x-rays of a child's airway before diagnosis (if it looks like a straw, it needs to be addressed. if it looks like a hose in its entirety, it's good.)
  • Every parent knows that snoring and mouth breathing are not natural and what to do if they notice a change.
  • See the patient's doctors work as an interdisciplinary team with constant communication.

I have created a fundraising event called Ride of the Zombies to benefit Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago's Sleep Medicine Department. I have recently been informed that Dr. Sheldon, director of the sleep medicine department, plans to use the monies raised by Ride of the Zombies "to submit an IRB proposal for objectively evaluating outcome of Biobloc-orthotropic procedures in managing pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  We initially intend to conduct a retrospective review of patients who have undergone sleep medicine evaluation and polysomnography before, during, and after Biobloc treatment. We hope this initial study would provide polysomnographic evidence of improvement in sleep disordered breathing in patients who have undergone this procedure.  We are hoping that data gathered from this initial project would provide the basis for writing an RO-1 grant application to NIH for a prospective, multicenter longitudinal trial.”


From what I understand that is HUGE! I feel honored to be a part of such a monumental project. The ownership I feel leaves me with a sense of 'cannot fail' and 'must exceed expectations'. My goal is to donate $10,000 to the sleep medicine department, however, it sounds like they will need more than that to accomplish their goals.


As of now, parents do not know the negative effects sleep disordered breathing has on their child. You can help change that!Connor no longer snores, his grades have improved, and he is HAPPY!

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Porked Zombie
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$15 gift certificate to any Porkies Pig Roast Restaurant! The fall off the bone, melt in your mouth BBQ dreams are made of!
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