CHRISTUS Children’s Selected Among Top Grant Recipients from The Toy Foundation

 CHRISTUS Children’s is one of 20 children’s hospitals and health systems to receive funding for play projects that will improve the care and well-being of pediatric patients 

(APRIL 11, 2024 – SAN ANTONIO) – CHRISTUS Children’s is proud to announce its selection as a recipient of a $15,000 grant from The Toy Foundation’s (TTF) Children’s Hospital Play Grants program. 

The grant will expand sensory-friendly play opportunities for patients at CHRISTUS Children’s, particularly within its emergency services and behavioral health areas. The initiative aims to promote and support a calm and comforting hospital environment. Specialized toys designed for sensory engagement will be purchased and used by child life specialists at CHRISTUS Children’s to provide essential coping support. The sensory safety kits will be distributed to patients for use during their hospital stay, upon discharge, and at home. 

“Our child life specialists play such an important role in providing emotional and social support for patients at CHRISTUS Children’s,” said Terry Kyle, CEO of CHRISTUS Children’s Foundation. “We are incredibly grateful for this generous gift from The Toy Foundation that will allow our specialists to continue their impactful work.” 

CHRISTUS Children’s is one of 20 children’s hospitals and health systems selected to receive a Children’s Hospital Play Grant. TTF is distributing $389,000 nationwide, marking a significant gesture expected to bring joy and support to approximately 240,000 children. 

Play is a powerful tool that can significantly improve the care, well-being, and health outcomes of pediatric patients. Hospitals are reliant on external funding or donations to provide this key aspect of the holistic pediatric care model, and TTF’s Children’s Hospital Play Grants program helps fill this need. Focused on supporting hospitals that serve under-resourced communities, where 50% or more of patients rely on Medicaid, the program has delivered the benefits of play to 360,000 children since 2021. 

“Play has a profound impact on a child’s healing journey, benefiting their physical, emotional, and educational well-being,” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director at The Toy Foundation. “We are pleased to support CHRISTUS Children’s in providing the power of play to help their patients heal and thrive.” 

For more information about TTF’s Children’s Hospital Play Grants program and to see the full list of 2024 grant recipients, visit ToyFoundation.org. 

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About CHRISTUS Children’s 

CHRISTUS Children’s became San Antonio’s first freestanding hospital solely dedicated to the care of children and expectant women. Located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, CHRISTUS Children’s is part of CHRISTUS Health. Baylor College of Medicine, one of the top medical schools in the nation, is the academic partner of The Children’s Hospital with 180 pediatric specialists affiliated with Baylor. In addition, community physicians in private practice remain a valuable partner in the care of women and children in our community. We are a health care ministry that works to continually meet the needs of the community to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, following the values and mission of our sponsoring congregations: Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of Houston and San Antonio and the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. 

About The Toy Foundation 

The Toy Foundation (TTF) is a 501 (c)(3) children’s charity and philanthropic arm of The Toy Association. The uniting force for the collective philanthropy of the toy industry for the benefit of all children in need, TTF works with small, medium, and large companies to create a world where every child experiences the comfort, joy, and extraordinary physical, emotional, and educational benefits of play through three program areas – The Toy Bank, Play Grants, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Pipeline Program. Thanks to the toy industry’s support, TTF has delivered play to more than 31 million children in need around the world. 

Join Gamers Playing for CHRISTUS Children’s 
on Extra Life Game Day, November 4

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (September 20, 2023) — Local gamers of all levels and from all categories — console, mobile, PC, table top, etc. — are uniting for one cause on Saturday, Nov. 4: To save and improve the lives of kids treated at CHRISTUS Children’s.

Extra Life, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) fundraising program, provides game-loving locals a fun way to support CHRISTUS Children’s, the local CMN Hospital.

Participants can sign up for the 24-hour gaming marathon at extra-life.org and invite friends, family and fans to donate to CHRISTUS Children’s. The official Game Day is Nov. 4, but participants may complete their 24 hours of play whenever and however they like — all in one day, one hour a day for 24 days, etc. Players may also participate solo or on teams.

“Gamers intuitively transport into other worlds and are experienced problem-solvers,” said Teri Nestel, president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “They passionately answer the call to raise critical funds that help heal kids. Extra Life is making a big impact on children’s hospitals, and individual gamers are making countless miracles happen for local kids and families.” 

The virtual marathon is expected to involve 50,000 gamers fundraising for 170 CMN Hospitals across North America. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $100 million for member hospitals. The secure donations fund the selected hospital’s greatest needs, often including pediatric medical equipment, research, therapy programs, and charitable care.

Extra Life partners with some of the largest names in the gaming industry, including Twitch, Rooster Teeth, Wizards of the Coast, Humble Bundle, Nace Starleague and Playfly ESports. While anyone can participate, many expert gamers and broadcasters live-stream their play and earn donations from followers. 

Interested participants can register at Extra-Life.org, select CHRISTUS Children’s as their preferred CMN Hospital, set a fundraising goal and collect donations throughout the year for kids in need. Learn more about the local CMN Hospital and how donations are saving kids’ lives at CMNHospitals.org.

About Extra Life

Extra Life is a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals fundraising program within the gaming community. Participants fundraise year-round and pledge to game for with one goal: to save and improve the lives of sick and injured kids. Funds raised stay local to help pediatric patients at 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across North America. Since 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $70 million for member hospitals. The movement, formed by gamers bonded by passion, is committed to saving and improving the lives of local kids. Play games, heal kids and join the community today at www.extra-life.org.

About CHRISTUS Children’s Foundation 

CHRISTUS Children’s Foundation was founded in 1955 to support the first and only academic, freestanding children’s hospital in San Antonio dedicated to the care of children and expectant mothers: CHRISTUS Children’s. CHRISTUS Children’s is part of CHRISTUS Health. Baylor College of Medicine, one of the top medical schools in the nation, is the academic partner of CHRISTUS Children’s, with 180 pediatric specialists affiliated with Baylor. In addition, community physicians in private practice remain a valuable partner in the care of women and children in our community. We are a faith-based health care ministry that works to continually meet the needs of the community. For additional information, visit christuschildrensfoundation.org, and find us on facebook.com/christuschildrensfoundation, instagram.com/christuschildrensfoundation/, and twitter.com/csrfoundations.

About Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals: 

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals that support the health of 10 million kids each year across the U.S. and Canada. Donations go to local hospitals to fund critical life-saving treatments and healthcare services, along with innovative research, vital pediatric medical equipment, child life services that put kids’ and families’ minds at ease during difficult hospital stays and financial assistance for families who could not otherwise afford these health services. When we improve the health of all children and allow them the opportunity to reach their full potential, we also improve our communities for years to come. Together, we can change kids’ health. Together, we can change the future. To learn about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and your local children’s hospital, visit cmnhospitals.org.

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Matching Grant from Wade Richmond Foundation Benefits CHRITUS Children’s and San Antonio’s First Epilepsy Surgery Program

SAN ANTONIO, TX (September 6, 2023) CHRISTUS Children’s and the CHRISTUS Children’s Foundation announced the total raised in August benefiting the city’s first pediatric epilepsy surgery program.

In response to a $400,000 challenge grant from the Wade Richmond Foundation to support the CHRISTUS Children’s Epilepsy Program, CHRISTUS Children’s announced 64 generous donors contributed $841,041 to match the Wade Richmond Foundation Challenge Grant. By meeting this challenge, these donors have helped raise $1,241,041 to ensure that children with epilepsy will be able to access the most comprehensive treatment options, including surgical treatment and the entire range of diagnostic testing, in San Antonio. The first program of its kind for our city.

The Richmond Family Foundation was established in 1999 and the Wade Richmond Foundation in 2006. Between the two foundations, they have held over 56 matching opportunities, supporting 33 different organizations, and generating nearly $16 million in donations, including this match. The Wade Richmond Foundation was created in memory of Wade Richmond, who died as a high school senior from a grand mal epileptic seizure.

Epilepsy is one of the most common medical conditions in children. Unfortunately, medications only control seizures in 60%; children who continue to have seizures often cannot attend school, work, or drive. CHRISTUS Children’s has established San Antonio’s first epilepsy surgery program. In children with drug-resistant epilepsy, surgery can cure or dramatically reduce seizures in 85%. Our epilepsy surgery program is led by Dr. Mark Lee, a national expert in epilepsy surgery with expertise in assembling the specialists and complex equipment necessary for such a program. 

Lane Creates His Own Path

Lane was a healthy and active toddler until early 2022, when he started complaining about shoulder pain that began just a few days after falling off the couch. Dr. Magnabosco suspected this was more than just a collarbone fracture. She felt there was something growing inside the bone that weakened the bone and made it much easier to fracture. She proceeded to send Lane for additional tests, resulting in a diagnosis that neither Ashley, nor her husband, Forrest, were prepared to hear – Lane had leukemia.

Violet G.

When 12-year-old Violet started losing weight, experiencing mild panic attacks, and losing color in her skin, her parents sought help from her pediatrician. After running labs on multiple occasions, results showed significant for moderate anemia, which prompted a referral to pediatric hematology at CHRISTUS Children’s. After more tests, Violet was diagnosed with myeloid-lymphoid neoplasm with eosinophilia (MLN-eo), a hematologic neoplasm in which, due to an underlying gene arrangement, the bone marrow makes too many copies of a type of blood cell called eosinophils. Her diagnosis is extremely rare in pediatric patients, especially in females, making the diagnosis very difficult and unusual. Violet’s doctors also did a baseline check of her organs and found that her heart had suffered some damage from her diagnosis. Violet started immunotherapy and heart treatment and she slowly began getting better. Violet is doing great today and hopes to grow up to pursue a career in the medical field to help other patients like herself.