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Every day, donors like you make gifts of all sizes to build a healthier future for children and expectant mothers. Your support makes our hospital a special place for our patients and families, and we are tremendously grateful.

Ambassadors Mark 11 Years of Service

This year, the ambassadors for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital celebrated 11 years of service at their annual Lunch and Learn at Sharon Heights Country Club in Menlo Park. Guests heard from Amy Purdy, Paralympic athlete and author of The New York Times best-selling book On My Own Two Feet. Purdy shared how her never-give-up attitude helped her get through the life-altering experience of losing her legs.

This year’s Lunch and Learn supported the Ambassadors’ 2017-2018 Fund-A-Need, funding a pediatric fellow in the emergency depart­ment. The group raised more than $231,000 through the generosity of Ambassadors members and their guests.

The more than 220 Ambassadors members promote the health of children and expectant mothers in our community through philan­thropy, volunteerism, and education.

Little Wishes Grants Cancer Patient’s Wish for a Guitar

Over the past year, Little Wishes has donated $29,100 to grant more than 190 wishes at Packard Children’s Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center.

In July, Little Wishes expanded to grant its first wish in the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases. Packard Children’s nurse and pediatric cancer survivor Sarah Sisk, RN, granted 6-year-old patient Avalynn’s little wish for a guitar.

Little Wishes empowers care providers at Packard Children’s to grant patients’ “little wishes” of up to $150. All wishes are granted in-hospital and give a child some­thing significant and happy to look forward to during their visits.

“We hope to bring as much happiness as possible to Packard Children’s patients,” says Laura Euphrat, RN, Little Wishes co-founder and president. “I’ve witnessed firsthand the therapeutic effects these wishes have by lifting a child’s spirits and improving their overall outcomes. Little Wishes celebrates children’s passions. Instead of losing their identity to illness, Little Wishes helps patients to focus on something positive and what makes them special.”

The Greathouse Family Funds Neurofibromatosis Research

The Greathouse Family Foundation awarded a multi-year clinical research grant to Cynthia Campen, MD, to support her research in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a rare genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerve tissue and various organs of the body.

After hearing about Campen’s work from friends whose child has the disease, the Greathouse Family Foundation selected Stanford’s Neurofibromatosis Clinic to launch a pilot program in NF1 research. The grant will allow Campen to gain a better understanding of NF1 by studying white matter tracts in the brains of NF1 patients. Packard Children’s is one of the few hospitals in the United States investigating neurocognitive deficits caused by NF1, and Stanford has one of the most extensive collections of NF1 patient data in the country. The Greathouse Family Foundation hopes the research it is funding will support new discoveries in the field.

“We are excited to support Stanford, Packard Children’s, and Dr. Campen to advance the understanding of NF1,” said Jeff Greathouse, executive director of the Greathouse Family Foundation. “Our family knows that cures for rare diseases are hard to find, and we are thrilled to provide support to the NF1 community through Dr. Campen’s clinical research.”

Asian Box Donates Proceeds from Grand Opening

Asian Box’s new Campbell location generously donated all proceeds from their grand opening last July to support patients and families at our hospital. Thank you, Asian Box and your patrons!

First Tech Federal Credit Union Shows Patients They’re Superheroes

In August, First Tech Federal Credit Union sponsored the Superhero Summer Party at Packard Children’s. Our patients participated in a day of superhero-themed activities. Highlights included making power brace­lets, a Capes4Heroes superhero cape-making station where patients received custom garb in a pattern of their choice and embla­zoned with their initials, and a PlayStation booth where patients could play the latest superhero video games.

“Events like the Superhero Summer Party are a way to help normalize the hospital environ­ment,” says child life specialist Alyssa Pettingill, MS, CCLS. “We constantly want to bring a sense of normalcy to patients’ lives amidst the treatments and procedures they are undergoing here, and what better way to do that than to bring in some fun?”

Thank you to First Tech Federal Credit Union, PlayStation, and Capes4Heroes for celebrating our superheroes!

Little Giants Foundation Funds Immunology Research

The Little Giants Foundation gave a generous $25,000 gift to support groundbreaking research by David B. Lewis, MD, profes­sor of pediatric immunology at Packard Children’s, in Schimke immunoosseous dysplasia (SIOD), a rare and serious genetic disease that causes several conditions, including vascular and kidney disease, a weakened immune system, and short stature. Life expectancy for children with SIOD is 11 to 16 years.

After their daughter Emily was diagnosed with SIOD at age 4, Erin and Joe Koesters joined the Little Giants Foundation, which Troy and Michelle Cupps founded in 2009.

“We found the Cupps family by way of the foundation and joined their mission,” says Erin Koesters. “Their son, Mitchell Cupps, earned his angel wings on January 19, 2010, and in 2014, Joe and I took over leadership of the Little Giants Foundation and have furthered its mission to serve as a voice for those with SIOD and other rare forms of dwarfism.”

In addition to advocacy, the Little Giants Foundation funds research and testing to help prolong the lives of children with SIOD. Thank you, Little Giants Foundation, for your gift to support this important research at Stanford.

Margaret and Michael McCaffery Help Patients Return to School

Margaret and Michael McCaffery pledged $250,000 to support our Hospital Educational Advocacy Liaisons (HEAL) program. The couple’s gift will establish a scholarship fund to assist families in paying for expensive neuro-psychological testing for patients transitioning back to school.

Children who have experienced a chronic illness may find themselves deal­ing with the ongoing cognitive effects of their hospitalization and treatment and often face new obstacles when returning to school. HEAL’s dedicated staff works closely with parents and school administra­tors to help them understand how a child’s medical condition can affect their learning. A critical component of this work is neuro-psychological testing for children.

“We are proud to initiate a scholarship fund that will support families who need access to neuro-psychological evaluations,” says Margaret McCaffery. “We hope this will encourage others to support the scholarship fund and help ensure that a child’s return to the classroom is positive and successful.”

Freenome Celebrates Our Transplant Patient Families

Thank you to Freenome for sponsoring this year’s Transplant Family Reunion Party. In August, our solid organ transplant patients and their families gathered for a luau-themed party, reuniting with members from the pediatric transplant team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford who helped transform their lives.

Special thanks also to The Expendables for playing live music, MERGE4 for bringing talented artists to work with our patients, and HP, Inc. for providing photo booth pictures.

Packard Children’s Team Hosts Fundraisers

In recent months, Packard Children’s and School of Medicine faculty and staff hosted a variety of fundraising events to benefit critical services and research that support our patients.

During Ramadan, Rajni Agarwal-Hashmi, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, and the Bay Area Muslim community held their annual Crescent Zakat fundraiser to support the needs of Muslim families. They raised $33,451 to fund social services dedicated to Muslim families in our care, including providing families daily halal food and basic living arrangements while their children receive treatment at our hospital.

In April, the Pediatric Transplant Center at Packard Children’s hosted Pedal for Pediatric Transplant, raising more than $16,000 to support social services for pediatric transplant patients. These funds will provide invaluable assistance to transplant patients and families who are striving to meet their basic needs during their stay at Packard Children’s. Thank you, Debra Strichartz, RN, BA, CCT, and the entire pediatric transplant team for your efforts to give children and families the best possible outcomes!

In September, the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the School of Medicine, led by Kathy Sakamoto, MD, PhD, Shelagh Galligan Professor in the School of Medicine, and her team joined forces with the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases at Packard Children’s to host the third-annual Cycle for Kids Cancer. This year, Cycle for Kids Cancer raised more than $15,000 to support pediatric cancer research conducted at Stanford University.

Thank you to our staff and faculty for going above and beyond!

Grateful for Our Auxiliaries

Thank you to all members of the Roth, San Francisco, Charter, San Mateo-Burlingame, San Jose, Palo Alto, and Allied Arts Guild Auxiliaries.

In 1999, forward-thinking Auxiliary members worked with leadership at Packard Children’s and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health to create the Auxiliaries Endowment to benefit our hospital. Initially, they established the Auxiliaries Endowment with two bequests totaling $6.4 million from Auxiliary members. As these endowments grew thanks to the Stanford Management Company and Auxiliary members who made additional contributions, the Association of Auxiliaries added more endowed funds to support areas at our hospital, including the Teen Health Van, Family Guidance and Bereavement, social services, and critical clinical programs.

As of March 2018, the Auxiliaries Endowment had a market value of $21,717,951. In 2018, these funds awarded $1,017,413 to programs and grants supporting several areas of need at Packard Children’s. Through the dedication of our Auxiliary members, these endowments continue to grow and support special programs that serve our patients and their families.

Our Auxiliary members inspire us daily with their service, commitment, and extraordinary generosity!


This article originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of Packard Children’s News.