Giving Back: Support Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford This Season

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This holiday season we’ve partnered with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford to raise money for the Recreational Therapy Fun Fund.

This is personal for me.

In 2017 after recurrent fevers, multiple tests for leukemia, numerous appointments with our pediatrician, ENTs, and Immunologists, and two surgeries, my one-year-old son, Byron, had been through hell and back. And just as I felt hope after the second surgery, my older son, Gavin (three years old at the time), got sick. He was rushed to the emergency room in severe pain. I remember my sweet pediatrician offering to go to my house and care for my Byron so my husband and I could be together with Gavin. We thought we were headed for emergency surgery. After hours of testing and no surgery, thank goodness, he was admitted to Lucile Packard. His left kidney was enlarged, his left ureter dilated, and he was diagnosed with a kidney infection and severe urinary reflux.  I remember feeling like my world was crashing down. I wanted to be strong. I didn’t want Gavin to be afraid. And this is where Lucile Packard goes the extra mile. We all know they are famous for their research and medical care, but did you know that they try to make your kids feel at home, too? And this makes all the difference.

Did you know. . .

They have a preschool?

Yes. And if your child is stable enough, they can attend with other similarly-aged children.  They sing songs, read books, make crafts, just like children who aren’t in the hospital. I’ll never forget the morning Gavin was approved to attend. He was thrilled! And let me tell you, a little joy goes a long way in these circumstances.

Did you know. . . 

They have a playroom?

Yes. Open different hours throughout the day, stable children can come together and play. They have video games for older kids, train tables for younger kids, and toys in between. It offers an escape from the “hospital”  for kids and parents alike. We looked forward to these happy play moments.

 

Did you know:

They give toys to the kids to help during difficult times?

Yes. One night Gavin’s IV came out in his sleep. All the alarms went off, and he was shaking. We had to go out in the hall because we didn’t want his crying to wake our suitemates. He cried and begged for them not to proceed, yet I knew they had to re-insert it. It was heartbreaking. Then his nurse whipped out a Mack Hauler toy from the Cars movie. As my son was distracted, she fixed his IV, telling him he got to keep the toy for being so brave. He kept it in his hospital bed and now, at almost 5 years old, still cherishes it.

Did you know:

They have an art cart, snacks, and surprise treasure chests for follow up appointments?

Yes. Even after our discharge from the hospital, we still feel the love. We have done arts and crafts while waiting for ultrasounds, had snacks and juice during a lunch time follow-up appointment, and there are always surprises after procedures and check-ups. Anything to make the kids feel special.

 

These are the things that make all the difference when your child is sick.

Please join us this holiday season and donate. The Fun Fund ensures every patient spending their holiday in the hospital receives a gift. Plus, toys and books are needed year-round to stock the playroom, to celebrate birthdays spent in the hospital, and to engage patients at the bedside to help reach developmental milestones.

When I think back about this time, I am grateful. As terrifying as this time was for me and my family, both of my kids made it through and continue to do well.  This isn’t always the case. There are parents who receive unimaginable news and don’t have the chance to see their children improve. They spend birthdays, holidays, months, and years at this hospital.

You can help make their journey just a little easier.

Thank you. 

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Kelly migrated to San Francisco in 2009 after living in Chicago, Florida, and growing up in Texas. She is happy now to call the Bay Area her home. She is a licensed Physician Assistant and previously worked in OBGYN and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. With the support of her husband and college sweetheart, Rob, she took a break from medicine to do something more creative! In addition to running San Francisco Moms Blog, Kelly is mommy to Mr. Gavin and Mr. Byron. She is happy to be the princess of the house! When she is not working or chasing her boys, she loves cooking, college football, and spending time and traveling with her family.

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