Five Champions who inspired us in 2017

Caitlin Chiang
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Every day, our supporters and fundraisers—our Champions for Children—inspire us with their passion to serve our patients and their families. Last year, more than 350 Champions of all ages hosted toy drives, ran marathons, painted artwork, and even sold lemonade to support children’s health! We’d like to introduce you to five Champions who inspired us in 2017.

Josh Kizler: Kizler Coffee Art Auction

Josh Kizler understands how important it is for families to have access to resources as their children receive care at our Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases. 

“I am a cancer survivor myself,” Josh says. “I was treated at Stanford Hospital three years ago, and I can safely say the medical staff saved my life! It was hard enough getting cancer as an adult, so I can imagine going through it as a child is even more difficult."

Josh decided that he wanted to help others going through cancer treatment, and now hosts silent art auctions to raise funds to support pediatric cancer patients at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Generous local artists donate their artwork to be displayed and auctioned at Josh’s Pacifica coffee shop, Kizler Coffee, and all proceeds are then donated to Packard Children’s social services department. The social services team utilizes donations to offer transportation aid and to purchase grocery and gas gift cards for patient families.

“I hope that our fundraisers will improve or ease the journey for families seeking care,” Josh says. “Whether our fundraising provides a family with a little gas money or a meal, I hope that we can help in some small way.”

After a recent tour of our new Main building, Josh had this to say: “Visiting the new hospital was incredible. It was both fascinating and heartwarming to learn about all the thought that had gone into designing the new hospital. It made me confident to know that any funds I help raise for Packard Children’s will be used with care and thought.”

Thank you, Josh, for supporting our patients and their families!

Lorenzi Family: Art Supply Drive

Last summer, Lucca Lorenzi received two emergency surgeries to remove a benign, but invasive, tumor that was growing in the back of his nasal cavity. Lucca, an AP (Advanced Placement) art student at his high school, shared with us that the Art Cart was an important resource for him while receiving care at our Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases.

Suzie, Lucca’s mom, describes part of their experience at Packard Children’s:

“We arrived at Packard Children’s in the middle of the night by ambulance, and were immediately greeted by the caring and dedicated staff. Lucca endured more testing that day, and on the following day had the first surgery to embolize (cut off blood supply to) the tumor. The next day, Lucca had an eight-hour surgery to remove the tumor. The team worked tirelessly through the night and into the early hours of the morning. A few days later, Lucca was discharged, and today, Lucca is doing great! We know all who walk through the doors at Packard Children’s will encounter the same dedication and compassion that we did.”

When friends and family reached out to Suzie asking how they could help support Lucca, she replied that they could donate art supplies to stock the Art Cart to support other budding patient artists.

With support from friends and family, the Lorenzis collected more than 850 new packs of crayons, markers, paper, canvases, and other art supplies through their art supply drive. 

Thank you to the Lorenzi family for supporting our patients!

PS Photography: Great Pictures for a Great Cause

Parishkrita “Pari” Srivastava’s passion for photography began in middle school, when she first had the opportunity to begin shooting with a DSLR camera. Pari practiced and advanced her photography skills through high school, even taking a Digital Imaging course to learn more about photography and photo editing, before deciding to create her own photography business, PS Photography. 

Pari’s love for photography and her interest in the medical field motivated her decision to donate 35 percent of all of PS Photography’s profits to Packard Children’s. 

During a recent visit to Packard Children’s, Pari took a tour of our hospital and visited our Hospital School, Library and Family Resource Center, surgery center, and courtyards.

“I was impressed by the amount of thought and planning that was put into the hospital to make it kid-friendly,” Pari shares. “I am so glad to be part of a greater organization that helps treat children and bring them comfort. Thank you to Packard Children’s for allowing me to help put smiles on kids’ faces.”

Thank you, Pari, for capturing smiles to support our patients! 

Dr. Christine Hansen: Brightening Smiles and Lives

In 2017, Palo Alto dentist, Christine Hansen, DDS, and her expert team hosted their 5th annual teeth whitening fundraiser in support of the Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Packard Children’s. During the fundraiser, Christine offers $99 teeth whitening services and donates 100 percent of the proceeds to support the center in their efforts to provide comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and treatment for children with conditions affecting the face, head, and neck. 

“My younger sister, who is also a dentist, was born with a cleft of the soft palate and had numerous surgeries to repair it.” Christine shares. “I had early insight into both the amazing results made possible only through skilled care, as well as the cost of treatment.”

“I have tried to do some sort of a fundraiser ever since I purchased my practice about 20 years ago. I think it is very important we do something for those less fortunate than us. My hope is that our fundraisers will raise awareness in our community about the important work done at Packard Children’s. I also hope to incentivize more of my patients to get involved.”

Since beginning their fundraiser in 2013, Christine and her team have raised nearly $30,000 for our patients.

Thank you to Dr. Christine Hansen and her amazing team!

Sammy Wong: Science in a Box

Sammy Wong is a local high school student who decided to combine her passion for science and her love for helping others by creating “Science in a Box.”

“Science is so interesting—it sparks my curiosity and teaches me to look at things with different perspectives as no two experiments are ever the same,” Sammy says.

Sammy became interested in science in middle school, when she first learned about more complicated scientific concepts. 

“I always felt so smart after comprehending what I had learned, and I wanted to share that feeling with others,” she shares.

Sammy developed simple science experiment kits to share with our Hospital School students at Packard Children’s. Science in a Box kits provide the opportunity for our patients to conduct fun science experiments from the comfort of their hospital beds. Our little scientists were thrilled to use their kits to create slime, build lava lamps, and craft nightlights.

“After I donated the first boxes, I received an envelope containing a bunch of thank you letters from patients,” she says. “It was so heartwarming to see their gratitude and excitement for the kits. Their joy and excitement is what motivates me to continue to give back.”

Thank you, Sammy, for bringing Science in a Box to our Hospital School patients!

Inspired by our 2017 Champions? Support our hospital and become a Champion for Children today—we hope to feature you next year!
    

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