Media Tips

Charlotte Ponce Surgery Update

Charlotte Ponce will be back at Beaumont Children’s Hospital this week for surgery. Dr. Kongkrit Chaiyasate will be removing the ear from Charlotte’s arm and attaching it to her head. If you want to interview the doctor, Charlotte and her family, here are the details:


  • Dr. Chaiyasate and Charlotte’s family will be available.
  • Reporters can interview Charlotte after she is feeling well enough to speak (we’ll keep you posted).
  • Dr. Chaiyasate expects Charlotte to recover at Beaumont Children’s Hospital for approximately one week after the surgery.

Call 248-898-5000 with any questions or requests for additional information.







When: Friday, July 11, 10 a.m. to Noon

Where: Beaumont Health Center, 4949 Coolidge Highway (Between 14 and 15 Mile Roads), Royal Oak  48073

Children/families will pick up their bikes inside the building.

 Bicycles for children with special needs

  • For the 101 children with special needs participating in the 2014 Beaumont Children’s Hospital Bike Day, it’s all about fun. For their parents and therapists it’s more than just fun; the gift of a bike can benefit each child both physically and socially.
  • “These unique bikes help each child. The physical benefits include building endurance and muscle strength and improving disassociation of both upper and lower extremities,” says Wendy Nicholls, a Beaumont Pediatric Rehabilitation physical therapist assistant and coordinator of Bike Day. “Psychosocial benefits include participating in an age-appropriate, skill activity with their peers as well as being included in a great family activity.”

Special bikes are expensive 

  • Bikes can cost from $1,300 to $3,000, and in some cases $6,000. You won’t find these bikes at local bike shops or big box retailers. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are pedaled by hand, some by foot. Bikes are modified or customized for each child. 
  • Helmets donated by Beaumont’s Safety City U.S.A. and “Think First.”

History of program

  • Nicholls modeled Bike Day event after a program at Mary Freebed Hospital in Grand Rapids. Generous donors pick up the tab for all the bikes.  There are few administrative costs since almost everything is donated.  Wendy donates her time and so do therapists who assist the families and bike distributors/manufacturers in making sure each child gets fitted properly. 
  • Since its inception 10 years ago, 547 bikes have been distributed to families across Southeast Michigan at a cost of $774,518. Program has grown from 22 recipients in 2004 to 101 in 2014.


  • To be considered for the program, children must have a prescription and be referred by their physical therapist, occupational therapist or doctor.  Those who are current or past patients of Beaumont are given first priority.

2014 program funding partners

  • Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
  • Detroit2Nepal Foundation
  • Ronald McDonald Charities

If you are interested in covering this, please call 248-898-5000.