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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.


Laurie Lacob’s Legacy Lives on in Endowed Research Directorship

In May, philanthropist Laurie Lacob made a generous gift to the Center for Definitive and Curative Medicine (CDCM), a Stanford initiative that develops novel cell and gene therapies to cure challenging childhood illnesses. Laurie made this gift, which establishes a research directorship to accelerate discovery, shortly before passing away from cancer.

“The CDCM relies on philanthropy to accelerate new therapies to reach patients. By establishing this directorship, Laurie extended her legacy of empowering innovation to help kids in need,” says CDCM Director Matthew Porteus, MD, PhD, who will be the first holder of the directorship. “We will remember Laurie’s kind and generous heart and her commitment to making the world a better place.”

Laurie served on the board of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health from 2015 to 2018. Her previous gifts to Stanford Medicine established a faculty scholar in transformational medicine and supported Porteus’ sickle cell research.

“I remain grateful for our time together on the board and fondly remember her sincere passion for advancing science,” says Susan Ford Dorsey, chair of the Foundation’s board of directors.

Laurie is survived by four children: Kirk, Kelly, Kent, and Kayci. “We are so proud of the impact our mom is making in advancing scientific innovation and care for children and families in the community, and we intend to continue honoring her legacy through a continued relationship with the hospital,” says Kayci.


Cancer Patient and His Family Raise $9K at Summer Scamper

Team Mighty Max has a lot to celebrate! Four years ago, Max was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes while living in Arizona. In 2021, his family moved to Palo Alto so that Max could be treated at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.

They knew they’d made the right decision when Max received another major diagnosis. Max was admitted to the Stanford Emergency Department with stomach pain, and doctors determined he had stage-3 Burkitt lymphoma, a rare and aggressive cancer. “People come to Stanford for the second opinion, but we were fortunate to already be here,” says his mom, Paige Cook.

Max immediately started treatment at the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases. He and his family are grateful for the child life specialists and the entire team at Packard Children’s Hospital for making his stay and treatment as comfortable and fun as possible.

This summer, Max, now age 12, along with his family and friends—known as team Mighty Max—raised nearly $9,000 for the Child Life and Creative Arts Department through the Summer Scamper 5k and fun run.

And in the fall, Max celebrated the end of his radiation therapy with a bell-ringing ceremony. Way to go, team Mighty Max! Thank you for being an inspiration to us all.


Southwest Airlines Goes the Extra Mile

This year, Southwest Airlines gifted 800 one-way flights to patients and their families at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, doubling their annual flight donations to meet increasing need.

The flights are made possible through Southwest Airlines’ Medical Transportation Grant Program, which provides tickets to families who might not otherwise be able to afford the cost of travel to our hospital. Since 2010, Southwest has given Packard Children’s more than $700,000 in financial and in-kind support, including more than 3,000 flights.

“Southwest Airlines’ gift lifts an incredible burden from our families, allowing them to focus their time, resources, and energy on caring for their sick child,” says Cynthia Valenzuela, LCSW, manager of social work at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health. “They help make first-rate health care accessible to families who might not be able to reach us otherwise.”

Thank you, Southwest Airlines, for ensuring families can focus on getting the care they need without worrying about transportation.


Anuj’s Family Celebrates His Birthday, Raises Money to Help Children with Cancer

There was nothing Anuj couldn’t do! At age 12, he set his mind on becoming a pediatric oncologist and finding cures for cancer that would be less painful with no side effects. Anuj knew firsthand about cancer treatment, because he was diagnosed with leukemia in late 2018 and received treatment at the Bass Childhood Cancer Center.

“His chemotherapy regimen instilled this strong altruistic outlook within Anuj,” say his parents, Sneha and Nikhil Setlur. “He was the perfect patient and would have made a great doctor.”

Anuj returned to the Bass Center for a stem cell transplant in 2022. After a brave, four-year battle, he passed away in January 2023. Anuj was selfless throughout his life, often ensuring that everyone around him felt comfortable and happy. He adored his parents, sharing his favorite pastimes with them such as walking along the beach, playing tennis, and cycling.

Anuj’s legacy lives on through Sneha and Nikhil. In July they held a special fundraiser on Anuj’s 13th birthday and raised $10,800 for our hospital. He was also honored at Cycle for Kids Cancer, an indoor cycling event in September, which raised over $16,000 for pediatric cancer research. Thank you, Sneha and Nikhil, for your generosity and for continuing to fulfill Anuj’s dream to cure childhood cancer.


Star One Credit Union Gift Addresses Food Insecurity

Star One Credit Union is a longtime supporter of Packard Children’s, making annual gifts to our hospital since 2008. Over the years, Star One has supported various programs, including Mother’s and Father’s Day celebrations hosted by the Child Life and Creative Arts Department.

This year, Star One Credit Union dedicated its gift to the Teen Van to help alleviate food insecurity among underserved youth in the community. The Teen Van is a mobile clinic that provides comprehensive health care at eight sites in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties for uninsured and underinsured youth ages 12 to 25.

This gift will help the Teen Van provide non- perishable food packages and free home deliveries of groceries to more youth and families. Thank you, Star One Credit Union, for your commitment to improving patient care at Packard Children’s Hospital and beyond.


#GoodforMEdia Receives Grant to Fuel Its Youth-Powered Movement

The Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund (RTYPF) recently announced its grantees, and #GoodforMEdia, a project of the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, was one of 26 organizations in the inaugural cohort. These youth-led initiatives will receive a total of $2 million to support their advocacy for a more inclusive, equitable, and accountable technology ecosystem.

#GoodforMEdia is a youth-driven peer mentoring program that supports young people’s healthy social media engagement by creating a space where older teens and young adults share personal stories, insights, and strategies with younger teens and tweens. In addition, they’ve produced a curriculum and guides for parents and their peers on the best ways for teens to use social media.

The RTYPF was created by 14 organizations, including The Archewell Foundation, which was co-founded by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Thank you, RTYPF, for recognizing the power of youth to lead in creating safe and inclusive online spaces.


This article originally appeared in the Fall 2023 issue of Packard Children’s News.