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2009: Mickey and Friends Comfort Pediatric Patients
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Mickey and Friends Comfort Pediatric Patients

Fox Valley Mall Disney Store employees donate from their own pockets

WINFIELD, Ill., July 23, 2009 - In the true spirit of "VoluntEARs," approximately 25 full- and part-time employees of the Fox Valley Mall Disney Store (#543) came together to donate new plush toys to the pediatric patients at Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) in Winfield, Ill.

"We hope these familiar Disney characters will help bring comfort to children who are being cared for in the hospital," said project coordinator Kelly Axtolis, Naperville resident and store lead of the Fox Valley store.

The store "VoluntEARs" program collected the new plush toys from employees, like Axtolis and her teenage daughters Nikki (16) and Brittany (14) who took some time out of their summer day to deliver them. Children from birth to 18 years of age who are patients of Central DuPage Hospital are gifted with the new toys, which then go home with the patient.

"So many children love the Disney characters. The Disney stuffed toys are a wonderful way for us to provide comfort to children coping with their healthcare experience," said CDH Child Life Coordinator Sara Muller, MS, CCLS. "Visiting the hospital is stressful for children and their families; however, when they are able to have a favorite toy or receive a familiar Disney toy, it helps bring a huge smile to their face and reduces their anxiety." Child Life Specialists use donations to help normalize a child's healthcare experience, as they offer opportunities for education, self-expression and play.

CDH offers a full range of inpatient services, including both a Neonatal and Pediatric intensive care unit staffed by hospitalists, neonatologists and intensivists around the clock. In the Pediatric Outpatient Center, parents have access to a wide range of experienced pediatric sub-specialists, including those in cardiology, neurology, otolaryngology, allergy/immunology, hematology/oncology, urology and surgery. CDH also runs a pediatric emergency department staffed by pediatric emergency physicians during select hours each week.

Gifts of cash for this purpose or donated new toys are gratefully accepted. The toys are distributed to pediatric patients throughout the year. For more ways you can help or to view our Child Life Wish List, please visit www.cdh.org. 

To make a gift or to arrange a new toy drive for your organization, contact Kurt Wolbrink, Central DuPage Hospital Foundation, at 630-933-6989.

About Central DuPage Hospital
Central DuPage Hospital is a nationally recognized 313-bed facility located in Winfield, Ill., a suburb west of Chicago. The collaboration with Children's Memorial Hospital provides children in the suburbs west of Chicago access to pediatric and neonatal specialists of Children's Memorial. All physicians in this program are independent practitioners on the medical staff of CDH. They are neither agents nor employees of Central DuPage Hospital.

The hospital is part of an interdependent network of healthcare organizations and services, including convenient care centers, occupational health services and a full range of options for senior living, home health and hospice care. For more information visit www.cdh.org.

Media Contact:
Amy Jo Steinbruecker
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