MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The annual toy race at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is now underway and organizers hope to collect more than 7,000 toys.
Nationwide, toy drive can be affected by shipping delays in the past, this can still be seen at Joe DiMaggio’s store, a single day event, regardless, A team of child life specialists works year-round to make sure children feel special, especially during the holidays.
“We will probably be here, inpatient and outpatient for at least another nine months,” says Helen Schwartz.
Schwartz’s son is SuperJake Strong, a 6-year-old who is battling a type of bone cancer. It’s hard for young patients to stay in the hospital, especially around the holidays, but toys sometimes make it a little better.
“He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 5,” explains Schwartz.
To help Jake, staff at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital used the power of the game to help them through, even preparing for medical procedures. Toys often help with that process.
“Our Toy Drive literally delivers our toys all year long at Joe DiMaggio,” said Paige Cos, Child Life Expert.
While other drives may have dropped.
“So far so good, it’s going very well, and we’ve contributed non-stop,” explains Cos.
The team of Child Life Experts at Joe DiMaggio got in on the action but they say it’s not all about toys.
“There is no place like home, but nobody wants to be at home during the holidays but here we believe that if the kids have to be here for the holidays, the more miracles the better,” added Cos. .
The group helps provide a variety of treatments and activities for children, from pets, to art, to music, to even video games.
“When I introduce myself to a patient, oh I am Paige, I am a child life specialist, my role in the hospital is to be a friend and a teacher.”
She is working to make Christmas filled with gifts as well as comfort.
“This is a marathon not a sprint and in that case your mental game is just as important as the physical one,” added Schwartz.
https://miami.cbslocal.com/2021/12/09/joe-dimaggio-childrens-hospital-specialists-help-ease-anxiety-spread-cheer/ Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Specialists Help Alleviate Anxiety, Spread Joy – CBS Miami