Hurley Medical Center's 31st Annual Benefit Ball on April 21st celebrates the "Carniva" experience in downtown Flint - and the amazing survival stories of Austin Perez and April LaGrone.

Austin Perez was diagnosed at a very young age with Athsma, and through the years has been hospitalized at Hurley a number of times, due to his condition. Today, this Flint-area teen is controlling his asthma and has a passion for theater. As a result of the pediatric care he received at Hurley and at the Hurley Asthma Clinic, Austin's mom Sue is now studying to become a nurse.

Tonya LaGrone became very concerned when her daughter, April, was hungry and thirsty all the time, continued to lose weight and was always tired. It was December, 2006 and she thought it might be the flu. But eight-year-old April ended up in Hurley's Pediatric ICU where she spent two days. The diagnosis by Hurley was Type I Juvenile Diabetes. April was insulin dependent. She learned to take her own insulin shots and how to check her blood sugar. Today, the 12-year-old visits Hurley once-a-month to monitor her diabetes.

Hurley's Benefit Ball aims to raise $200,000 for Hurley Children's Hospital. Dr. Brian Nolan, Clinical Director of Pediatrics and Pediatric ICU at Hurley's Children's Hospital, says "at Hurley, children are our future, and they deserve the best. The Hurley Children's Hospital is a way of delivering all of our children's medical expertise under one unified umbrella."

Tonya LaGrone added "Hurley is the best place for your child. The doctors and nurses are exceptional, and they really care. I couldn't ask for better care and compassion. They care, they know, and they understand what April is going through. I know without Hurley, April wouldn't be here."

The 31st "Carnival" Hurley Benefit Ball will take place at the Riverfront Banquet Center in Flint on April 21, 2012. The annual black-tie gala features the finest in dining, dancing and entertainment. For tickets, registration and sponsorship, please call Hurley's Foundation at (810) 262-9399 or