Wanda’s Fund for Kids was established in 2015 to help sick children, their families, and others who love and care for them cope with the impact of illness by providing art and music therapy, recreational events, birthday and holiday celebrations, and other activities deemed appropriate by the Fund in consultation with hospital medical and support staff.
The Fund is named in memory of Wanda Ortiz, a pediatric oncology and surgical nurse who died in 2015 of non-smoker’s lung cancer. The Fund was established and is managed by her family.
The mission of Wanda’s Fund for Kids is to bring joy and support to sick kids and those that love them.
When children become ill, both they and their families suffer. Illnesses and their treatments can cause pain and discomfort, as well as disability. There are emotional and psychological effects too, and all can create many challenges when caring for a sick child. But the sick child is not the only one who suffers; their families do too. Nobody who has ever seen a parent sleeping next to their sick child’s bed night after night can come away without realizing the impact; nobody who has ever seen the frightened faces of siblings visiting the hospital can ever forget that illness is a family matter.
A hospital’s Child Life department works with sick children and their families to help them cope with the pain and difficulty of hospitalization, illness, and disability. The specially trained Child Life Specialists provide children with the age-appropriate coping tools they need to prepare for surgery, pain management, and other medical procedures. The wide variety of fun self-expression activities are a necessary and vital distraction for children who have to deal with serious illness, surgery, and physical disability.
They are also a valuable source of support, guidance, and information for parents, siblings, and other member of the sick child’s family.
Since 2015, Wanda’s Fund for Kids has been supporting the Child-Life Department at New York’s NYU Langone Medical Center. We have raised money to provide games, toys, video games, medical-play equipment, and parties and events to the hospital’s pediatric inpatient and outpatient departments that treat children with serious, life-threatening diseases.
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