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Ambassadors Bring Pumpkin Fun to Patients

Every autumn, Ambassadors for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital partner with Webb Ranch to host a day at the pumpkin patch to benefit our hospital. In October, the Ambassadors and their children collected pumpkins and then hosted an in-hospital event in our Forever Young Zone playroom. This year the Ambassadors donated more than 400 pumpkins for our patients and their siblings to decorate during the fall celebration!

In addition to volunteering, the Ambassadors select an annual focus for their fundraising efforts, called Fund-A-Need. They also host educational talks with hospital staff and researchers to engage the community in philanthropy.

Donors Contribute More Than $11,000 for a Strong Start to the School Year

With contributions from more than 100 donors, the annual Back-to-School Fundraiser exceeded its goal and raised more than $11,000 for school supplies and other resources for students at our Hospital School.

The school allows patients to continue their education uninterrupted, provides an outlet for creativity, and gives families a sense of normalcy through trying times. On behalf of all of the teachers, volunteers, parents, and patients at the Hospital School, we are so grateful for your support this back-to-school season.

Peterson Family Foundation Provides Critical Support for Music Therapy

This fall the Peterson Family Foundation made a crucial investment in our music therapy program at Packard Children’s. The foundation’s extraordinary gift will fully fund a music therapist for the next five years. Thanks to additional generous gifts from the Wender Weis Foundation for Children, Cushman Family Foundation, and Miranda and Levy families, our patients will now have access to this integral form of healing year-round.

Music therapy provides more than a creative respite for children being treated at our hospital: it helps empower patients at a time when they feel they have little control, reducing their stress and helping them express themselves both verbally and nonverbally.

Foundation president Jeff Peterson understands these benefits well. “It’s exciting to be a part of the emergence of creative arts programs, watching children heal, grow, and overcome such great adversity,” Peterson says.

Cycle for Kids Cancer Raises Funds for Pediatric Cancer Research

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Kathleen Sakamoto, MD, PhD, the Shelagh Galligan Professor in the School of Medicine, and Ann Walkush, NP, hosted the inaugural Cycle for Kids Cancer event and raised nearly $15,000 for pediatric cancer research. The indoor cycling event at SoulCycle Palo Alto encouraged our community to break a sweat in support of children battling cancer.

Today 80 percent of children with cancer survive, but their treatment often comes with complications. Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease in children. “Our team aims to transform the way we treat children with cancer, especially those who have a highly resistant cancer that is not responsive to traditional cancer treatments,” says Sakamoto. “Our goal is to cure 100 percent of children diagnosed with cancer.”

Champions for Children Dance to Raise $20,000 for Packard Children’s

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.

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.

LEARN MORE Host your own fundraiser and become a Champion for Children. Visit

Hartman Challenge Match Raises $2.4 million for Food Allergy “Vaccine” Research

Our tremendous community raised a total of $2.4 million in just three months for food allergy research! It all started with a visionary challenge match of $1.2 million from the Hartman Family Foundation, which inspired 30 other donors to join in with gifts ranging from $10 to $500,000 to quickly raise the remaining $1.2 million.

Kari Nadeau, MD, PhD, director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University, will launch a new study to test an approach called peptide “vaccine” immunotherapy. Similar to a tuberculosis test, the food allergy “vaccine” will go under the skin, with the goal of stimulating immune cells and permanently reducing or suppressing allergic reactions.

“We cannot make progress without generous organizations and families like the Hartman Family Foundation,” says Nadeau. “Ninety-five percent of our research funding has been made possible by donors. They are what propel us forward into this exciting new frontier of care for allergic diseases.”

Binns Family Gift Re-establishes Cord Blood Research Program at Stanford

Last year the Binns Family made an outstanding gift to our hospital and Stanford School of Medicine to launch and sustain a cord blood donation program. Now they are seeing their vision come to life.

The Binns Program for Cord Blood Research gives parents the opportunity to donate their newborn’s cord blood to develop new and potentially curative therapies. Cord blood is a valuable source for stem cells that would otherwise be thrown away. The program has already received 300 donations—phenomenal progress for such a short amount of time.

Since 1988, cord blood transplants have treated more than 80 different blood and immune disorders, from cancers to bone marrow failures. Technological innovation has spurred the need for new and advanced therapies, creating an unprecedented need for cord blood in scientific research.

For information on donation and research, visit

This article first appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of Lucile Packard Children's News.