First grade “Miracle Class” earns special nickname in small Michigan town

April 19, 2016  //  FOUND IN: News,

From left: Kaine Simon, Thomas Kramer, Madeline George and Brody Smith

The first grade class at St. Joseph School has become locally famous in the rural, one-stoplight village of Pewamo.

It’s the classroom of seven-year-old Thomas Kramer, who had his first of three open heart surgeries at three days old. There’s Brody Smith, who began fighting leukemia just as he was learning to talk. Kaine Simon underwent an hours- long surgery on his skull at five months old.  And Madeline George’s biggest gift came two days after her first birthday: a new heart.

Their stories are what have earned Mrs. Connie Warczinsky’s classroom in this small town outside of Lansing an affectionate nickname: “The miracle class.”

“I truly believe that they will be friends forever as they all share such a special bond,” Madeline’s mom Kara George says. “Thinking about how much they have gone through in their short lives is just hard to even fathom. When I see the kids together it just warms my heart – such amazing, resilient, miracle children.”

In many ways the four young classmates are just like other first graders. Thomas likes Thomas the Train and Lego sets. Madeline loves crafting, jumping on trampolines and Barbie dolls. Kaine is a die-hard Michigan State fan. Brody is often found on a baseball field or playing Minecraft.

But at University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital where they all received their treatment – sometimes unknowingly at the same time – they share a title reflecting their courageous journeys: “Little Victors.”

Check out their individual stories.

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