Kristen- Child Life Specialist
I have had the great honor of being a Child Life Specialist at Mary Bridge Children's for the past seven years. Being a Child Life Specialist has given me the incredible opportunity to support children and families during some of the most difficult experiences of their life. Hospital stays, life-threatening diagnoses, surgeries, chronic illnesses, and painful procedures become unexpected realities for those I see each day. Partnering with patients, parents, and the medical teams has allowed kids and families to understand their diagnosis, gain control and mastery, and even find joy in the hardship.
In the spring of 2019, I added Olaf, our Child Life Facility Dog, to my clinical work and practice. He has been an extension of myself, an intervention support that helps children and teens to feel less anxious during painful procedures and challenges in treatment. He has become a highlight for many patients as they request our presence during visits to make medical experiences more bearable, comforting, and even a little fun. I'm so thankful for the support of the Mary Bridge administration in this new program and forever grateful to Canine Companions for Independence for providing Olaf, free of charge, as a specifically trained and intentionally matched Facility Dog.
I have always believed I have the best job in the world and working at Mary Bridge, a place committed to incredible care and healing, is a gift. I care deeply about Mary Bridge and the community we serve and am excited to participate in Festival of Trees as a designer this year. I hope you'll join me!
Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital serves more than 250,000 children every year and depends on the generosity of the community to provide lifesaving care and services. About 65% of children served are on Medicaid – and even the best insurance has gaps in coverage. This fundraiser will ensure that all kids get the care and healing they need at Mary Bridge, regardless of ability to pay.
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