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Patria Eustaquio, RN, Patient Care Manager for the Children’s Heart Center’s step-down unit, 3 West/PCU 374, knows exactly what parents are feeling as their child recovers from heart surgery. She once sat there 17 years ago, with her 7-month-old daughter, Marissa.

“I have experienced both sides—as a patient’s parent, and as an employee,” Patria says. “Being diagnosed with life-threatening illness takes a toll on families and the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness is very overwhelming. I often tell my story when talking to parents who feel no one understands their situation.”

Patria is a proud Scamper-er, participating “to help find cures for all the different illnesses that our children suffer from,” she says. “Even a little amount can go a long way to help.”