Franciscan Hospital for Children
In A Nutshell:
Provide compassionate care and education to children with special health care needs to help them reach their full potential via medical, educational, and behavioral services.
Why They Rock:
- Medical Services: A comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient programs (over 30) for children and adolescents.
- Dental Services: Comprehensive preventive and therapeutic pediatric oral health care.
- Educational Services: A full-spectrum of special educational and therapeutic services for children.
- Behavioral Services: Inpatient and outpatient services provided by interdisciplinary staff.
What does Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Wakefield, and Keith Donohue all have in common? If you said millionaires, then you are batting .666 (I am a dollarionaire)….all of the above have visited and donated their time with the kids and All-Star TEAM (staff) at Franciscan Hospital for Children. Their staff doesn’t play in the NBA or for MLB; their professional league is for kids with serious issues: premature birth (26 weeks), parental sexual abuse, autism, and the list goes on…
My giving and joyful contact Diane planned a full day even when activity was low at the hospital due to Patriot’s Day in Boston…a city holiday which included the running of the Boston Marathon. Diane provided a great tour of the building and I wanted to hug every baby, pretty sure I would be fired…maybe at the last 50Give stop in Canada I will get arrested on purpose for national exposure – for the kids!
Off to Inpatient Mental Health Program, a place where kids are dealing with harsh conditions…cutting, learning disabilities, gender identity, sexual abuse, and so on. Luckily the unit is led by the outgoing Joe and chill nurse Brian, and they quickly welcomed me to their Circle Roll Call where the teenagers share plans for the day and ask for support from their peers to stay positive…totally love this community approach. I also had the privilege to talk about the tour and I was stoked to find out how many kids participate in volunteer programs!
Zing – through a corridor and body scan (no, although security is tough here since safety is their number one priority) to meet the younger crew. They treated me to a tasty Italian lunch and my new pal introduced me to the world of Justin Bieber – posters adorned her room…and I also enjoyed music from Taylor Swift – all of them. Off to the playground to play some basketball (21 game) and I won…you can’t pretend to stink…I kept it close…stop judging me! Also played soccer on a sweet sport-turf field donated by Tim Wakefield, cleverly named: WAKE Field…and no, I didn’t win in soccer although UNO is next my challenge!
Onward to the Community Based Acute Treatment Program which helps kids transition back into the ‘real’ world under the leadership of artistic Shane (also a UNO hustler). I gave another speech about the tour and was drilled with close to a hundred questions; I was going back in forth having a spiritual conversation with a sharp young boy about life only being in the present moment, the past and future can only exist in the present, and I try to be positive in this ongoing present moment…and then he asked if I like Godzilla. We finished the afternoon with UNO…I didn’t try to lose, I was just getting worked – curse you Reverse cards!
The city of Boston was buzzing with extra energy from marathoners, good weather, and Mario! My gracious host Mario hooked me up with comfy accommodations next the State House with the famous gold dome…I felt like I was in the movie The Departed without gangsters! I can’t forget to mention seeing my famous yogi friend Rebecca Pacheco who treated me to a yoga class at chic Equinox, a yummy burrito from Appleton, and gave me great advice to keep grounded throughout the tour….highly recommend reading her OmGal blog (voted Best Yoga & Fitness Site in the 2010 Intent Web Award)!
The Franciscan TEAM is constantly on top of their game by providing professional care with positivity, love, and hope…and they provided a great lesson for the 50Give tour which will carry on: be present for those you can’t…especially for kids.
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” Scott Adams