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Every day, our supporters and fundraisers—our Champions for Children—inspire us with their passion to serve our patients and families. Last year, more than 200 Champions donated their birthdays, hosted toy drives, danced, painted, and even SoulCycled all to support children’s health! We’d like to introduce you to six Champions who inspired us in 2016.

Hochstrasser family’s craft kits

Brothers Jackson and Liam sure have a lot of heart! This year, they started a new family tradition of creating bags of craft supplies to donate to patients at our hospital to “make other kids happy.” Being heart patients themselves, they know how much a bag of fun activities can make your day when you’re in the hospital. 

“After Jackson’s heart surgery in April, the craft room at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford was incredible. The first couple of days, Jackson said he didn’t want to go, which is abnormal for him, so he must not have been feeling well,” recalls mom, Christina. “But the child life specialists brought a couple craft project packages to his room. Those crafts in a bag were a lifesaver for Jackson.”  

A few months after his surgery, Jackson asked his mom if all the other kids were able to leave the hospital, too. She explained that some kids get really sick and have to stay there for even longer than he was there. That’s when Jackson realized he could do something to help other kids. For the Hochstrasser family, giving back is a way to show their gratitude for the care they received and the blessings in their lives. 

“Sometimes it is the small acts of kindness we do that make the biggest difference, especially in the life of a child in the hospital and their families," says Christina.

Prathibha Arts Foundation dance recital

On September 11, Prathibha Arts Foundation hosted “Inspiration,” a traditional Bharatanatyam dance recital benefiting cancer research at our hospital. Two students, Sathvik Vivek, 16, and Sanika Vivek, 11, performed the classical Indian dance at the Santa Clara Convention Center to rave reviews. The inaugural event raised more than $20,000.

"It was a rewarding experience showcasing our talents to raise funds for children at Lucile Packard,” recalls Sathvik, who is also the foundation’s president. Hopefully, our performance motivates other kids to make a difference. The kids of Prathibha are excited to do a whole lot more."

The Prathibha Arts Foundation is a nonprofit organization that allows artistic individuals to display their talents for a worthy cause. “We are aspiring young individuals striving to make an impact on society,” says Sathvik, who is also the foundation’s president.

Shoreline Bill’s golf lesson marathon

Bill “Shoreline Bill” Mykytka, a PGA Class “A” Golf Professional and community icon at Shoreline Golf Course in Mountain View where he teaches golf lessons, believes in signs. One week after the golf instructor and his wife watched the Dateline NBC story about a heart patient family at our hospital, Bill met a new golf student, Paul. Paul, as it turned out, was in town because his daughter, Hana, was awaiting a heart transplant at our hospital.

“I believe in signs, and this seemed like a clear sign to me,” Bill recalls. “I knew then that I had to do something to help out.”

Bill decided he wanted to host a fundraiser doing what he knows best: golf. From 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. he would teach golf lessons to raise money for the Children’s Heart Center at our hospital.

“It was a long day on my feet,” Bill says, who didn't take even one break in 15 hours except to take bites of a sandwich that his wife brought him during a lesson.

But the highlight of the day? Hana and her family stopped by to surprise Bill and thank him for his selfless work.

“At the end of the day, I felt so much energy and adrenaline running, knowing that I was helping kids like Hana who are going through so much."

Thank you to Shoreline Bill for raising more than $7,500 for our patients and their families!

Brayden and Kylie donate their birthdays

For the past four years, Brayden has donated his birthday to our hospital—quite impressive especially considering that is his whole life! Now, his little sister, Kylie, is following in his philanthropic footsteps, donating her first birthday as well. 

“Donating a birthday is an easy way to make a birthday that much more meaningful. Asking directly for money can be intimidating, but having a birthday fundraiser is so simple,” their mom, Kellie, explains. “What is most surprising and rewarding is the willingness and enthusiasm of friends and family to give back in honor of your child’s birthday.”

In lieu of birthday gifts, Brayden and Kylie ask their loved ones to donate a toy for patients at our hospital who need a bit of fun to distract them from their treatments. The family has collected hundreds of toys, creating hundreds of smiles—something Kellie knows first-hand from her days when she volunteered in our playroom as a teen.

“We hope to encourage our children to think of others who might not be as fortunate as them and to show them the importance of giving back,” Kellie says. 

“This Christmas, Brayden even asked if Santa could bring one present for him and other presents that he could give to the sick kids at the hospital. That spirit of giving is exactly what we want to instill in our children.”

Shreya’s artwork for a cause

When Shreya’s parents asked her what she wanted for Christmas and her birthday, they were surprised that their 8-year-old daughter didn’t want toys, books, or clothes—she wanted to give back to our hospital where she was born! 

“Shreya was born as a preemie baby, weighing only 2.5 pounds, and stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for six weeks. While she was in the hospital, snowflakes and twinkling lights hung from the ceiling, and in the corner, colorful presents were stacked under a tree adorned with ornaments,” her father, Raj, recalls. “Those simple decorations were a way to cheer up a cold, stark white NICU on Christmas morning. This simple act meant so much to our family. Shreya has heard us tell this story of what happened when she was born and wanted to do something special by giving back.”

An exceptional artist, Shreya decided to use her passion for painting as a way to raise funds. She set up a fundraising page and asked her friends and family to donate and receive a Shreya-original painting. She raised an impressive $625, surpassing her initial goal of $500. In addition, she donated new clothes and toys. 

"The twinkle and happiness in her eyes when she reached her fundraising goal and donated the clothes and toys to the hospital was a priceless moment for her, and for our entire family," says Raj.

Cycle for Kids Cancer hosted by the Division of Pediatric Hemotology/Oncology

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness month in September, the physicians, researchers, nurses, and staff of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at our hospital hosted the inaugural Cycle for Kids Cancer event

The indoor cycling event took place at SoulCycle Palo Alto, and each cycler was asked to raise a minimum of $250. Together they raised an astonishing $15,063 for pediatric cancer research!

Right now, we can cure about 80 percent of children with cancer,” says event organizer, Kathy Sakamoto, MD, PhD. “We are raising money to do research, to improve therapies, and to cure 100 percent of children with cancer.”

Watch the video of their event below and get inspired to ride in their 2017 event! 


Do you have an idea for a fundraiser? Start your 2017 off right and become a Champion for Children.