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Date Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Patients Appointed Ambassadors for Hospital’s Largest Fundraiser

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A 7-year-old Cornwall boy who has endured multiple surgeries to overcome a rare congenital condition and a 7-year-old Ossining boy stricken with a rare bone disorder, were cheered on by second-grade classmates at separate ceremonies held recently at their respective schools. Asher Levy-Dahl, 7, and Giovanni “Gio” Toribio, 7, were named among three ambassadors for Maria Fareri Children's Hospitals 15th Annual Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day, scheduled for September 15. A third ambassador, Yashwini Bobde, 4, of Briarcliff Manor, will be celebrated in the coming weeks.


Asher Levy-Dahl, 7, Cornwall

Asher Levy-Dahl’s second-grade teacher Kelly Byrne; Principal, Gregory M. Schmalz; Asher’s mother, Alexandra; sister, Quinn, and all of his classmates applauded as Asher was awarded his official ambassador sash at the Willow Avenue Elementary School.

Asher was cared for in Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (RNICU) after he was diagnosed in utero with heterotaxy syndrome, a rare disorder that results in organs forming on the opposite side of the body.  This can result in several complications, including congenital heart defects for which Asher has endured several cardiac surgeries.  Additionally, Asher has had 11 brain surgeries to help manage his hydrocephalus, a condition that leads to buildup of cerebrospinal fluid. Asher has received care for his complex medical issues at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and is thriving today despite his medical challenges.

His teacher, Kelly Byrne, shared stories about Asher’s acts of kindness and bravery in the face of his medical challenges, and his classmates vowed to join him on the walk around Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital campus in September.

Asher Levy-Dahl receives his ambassador sash for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day from the hospital’s Heather McGorman. 


Giovanni “Gio” Toribio, 7, Ossining

Gio was joined by Ossining’s Brookside Elementary School principal, Ann Dealy; his mother, Lauren; brother, Lorenzo; and his grandmother, along with more than 40 classmates and peers. Jessica Hochberg, MD, Associate Director of the Childhood and Adolescent Cancer and Blood Disease Center at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, spoke of Gio’s bravery and his ability to “roll with the punches.”

Gio was diagnosed with Stage 3 anaplastic large cell lymphoma in 2016 at age 4. He had tumors all over his body, including his brain. Gio had two surgeries to remove the brain tumors and has had six surgeries in all which, combined with other treatments, have put his cancer into remission. Unrelated to the cancer, Gio was also diagnosed with McCune-Albright syndrome, which impacts the integrity of his bones, making them more susceptible to fracture.  Despite this challenge, Gio loves to watch and participate in sports.  He has met many New York sports celebrities and even scored a ceremonial touchdown in a New York Jets scrimmage.

Gio Toribio, 7, with his brother Lorenzo, is named an ambassador for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day.   


Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day

The annual fundraiser for the Hudson Valley’s children’s hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), draws thousands of participants each year.

As one of three Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day ambassadors, Asher will help represent the more than 30,000 seriously ill and injured children cared for by Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital annually.

To register for the Go the Distance Walk and Family Fun Day, visit