Storybook Ball Showcases Mass General Newborn Medicine

On Saturday, October 1, Mass General for Children (MGfC) celebrates its annual Storybook Ball at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA). This year’s gala highlights Newborn Medicine and showcases how MGfC’s state-of-the-art medical and surgical care, in collaboration with obstetrics, helps mothers and babies before, during and after childbirth to heal, grow and thrive. 

“The ability to care for children from before birth, through childhood and into adulthood, in diverse settings, while integrating world-class science to improve their health, truly sets us apart,” said Paul Lerou, MD, chief of the Division of Newborn Medicine, Mass General for Children. “MGfC clinicians and researchers are uniquely positioned to partner with all the other facets of clinical, research, and education at MGfC to improve the lives of children, their families, and the communities in which they live.” 

Among other innovative approaches, the MGfC Neonatal Simulation Program allows clinicians to hone their skills and improve care for the sickest newborns. In collaboration with the Pediatric Surgery service, the MGfC Neonatal Simulation Team developed the first ECMO (heart-lung bypass machine) simulation module, allowing clinical teams to refine initiation of this highly complex treatment in newborns. 

The evening’s featured patient story highlights MGfC’s clinical excellence. Carter, from Chelmsford, Mass., was diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia before birth and received surgery immediately following birth at MGfC, spending over 70 days in the MGfC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Carter’s complex care required collaboration across multiple specialties at MGfC, including surgery, fetal care, pulmonology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, the newborn follow-up clinic and more. Today, two-year-old Carter is thriving and will be in attendance with his parents at the gala to reflect on their journey. Their story truly underscores the incredible innovation and patient care one can experience across the board at a hospital like MGfC and shows how a child’s amazing resilience can beat the odds. 

  At 6 p.m. on October 1, Co-Chairs Fiona and James Benenson III and Rachel and Bill Motley welcome over 500 guests at the MFA for cocktails, dinner, games and dancing in the theme of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, the bestselling children’s book written by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, where letters of the alphabet work together to climb a palm tree, with no shortage of bumps and bruises along the way.  

Longtime partner Rafanelli Events builds upon the grandeur of the MFA, transforming the space into a whimsical jungle with bright oranges and fuchsias, tropical prints and imaginative letter play. 

Guests let their kid at heart come out to play with the event’s signature carnival booth games. Lucky winners this year take home items donated by generous local businesses such as Blank Label, ChappyWrap, Coffee Labs Roasters, CouCou, Kendra Scott, PUMA, Rue Gilt Groupe, Trinchero Family Estates, The Urban Grape and YETI.  

WCVB-TV’s Erika Tarantal will take the stage to emcee a live auction where guests have the chance to bid on one-of-a-kind packages donated by local partners. Auction packages include a magical Madrid experience for two; a Martha’s Vineyard getaway for six; and a 25-person party in the Jim Beam Dugout at Fenway Park. 

“This year’s festivities are inspired by a story about letters climbing up a coconut tree, falling down, and being comforted by their parents and other adults,” said Co-Chair Rachel Motley. “The beloved tale mirrors the hope of everyone at MGfC to help children attain their best health to thrive on their individual paths. We’re looking forward to highlighting the amazing MGfC Newborn Medicine team and sharing with you the importance of their care and expertise.” 

Mass General for Children’s Storybook Ball takes place at 6 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 1, 2022, at the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, Mass. Visit for tickets and more information.

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