The doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital Boston perform medical miracles every day, but they don’t do it alone.
In fact they get a lot of help from a lot of people. Members of the Children’s Hospital League are in the forefront of supporting that lifesaving work. Over the years the non-profit, all volunteer League has donated $13 million to Children’s Hospital, and that money is making a big difference for the kids.
As the gentle sounds of a guitar and a woman’s voice drift down a hospital corridor, 4-month-old Drew Potenti listens intently. Drew has been hospitalized all her life and is in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s because of a rare muscle disorder. Music therapist Joanna Bereaud sings to her and using chimes to encourage Drew to grasp the metal tubes as a form of exercise. For Drew, the music therapy is part of her recovery. “I do see a medical benefit,” says Bereaud. “Stress relief, lowering the heart rate. I see children falling asleep when they have not slept for some time.” The music also provides children, like 4-year-old Allie Lane, a much needed break from the hospital routine. Allie heartily joins Joanna in an all time favorite- “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” This innovative program is just one of many efforts funded by the Children’s Hospital League.
“The League’s mission is to make the kids feel like kids while they’re in the hospital,” says Rachel Sieber, the League’s co-president. “You see the kids be just a little bit happier,” she adds. To do just that, the League also funds the “Paw Prints” program where specially trained dogs spend time with the young patients, taking their minds off treatments, shots and tests. “Having a pet come and visit them, there’s nothing that can make a kid happier than that,” says Sieber. In addition to providing the kids with a little fun, the League also supports cancer research, community programs and even purchased an ambulance for the hospital. “I think we’re really lucky to have Children’s in our backyard. It’s a world class institution. They do a lot of wonderful things,” says Sieber.
The League has about 500 members and they fundraise throughout the year. One of their biggest events is Saturday night (Nov. 17th), the 25th Children’s Hospital League Gala, with dinner, dancing and auctions, all to raise money for the hospital.
If you’d like to support the League or find out more about their work, visit www.childrenshospitalleague.org.
(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) Nov 16, 2007 4:03 pm US/Eastern