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In 2015, as a brand new certified child life specialist, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to work for a world renowned children's hospital. I had no idea what lie ahead within those four walls, but I knew it would be something amazing.
I could write about a million words and it still wouldn't come close to capturing the effect that these families, their stories, and CHOC as a whole shaped me as a child life specialist, and more than that, as a person.
My (brief) time spent within those 4 walls were filled with heartbreak, grief, tears, and the worst types of pain imaginable. But there was also so much triumph, healing, victories small and large, celebrations, and MIRACLES.
There were smiles, fist bumps, "snow ball" fights, mario kart showdowns, and bedside dance parties. In just my first year of the career, I saw more ups and downs than I ever knew possible. How I got so lucky to be in the midst of it all, I will never understand. But I will forever bear witness to the goodness that I saw in that year, and all of it was possible because of CHOC.
From the fellow (amazing) staff that I was fortunate to call my coworkers, to the patients, the parents, and the super sibs - they taught me more than I ever could have taught them, and I'll be honored to walk alongside them on August 11th to give back to the organization that brought us all together and gave us so much.
For the bravest of the brave, Ella, for our guardian angel Stella, and for every other amazing person I can't mention by name, this day is for you. This is #whywewalk.
Please join me in supporting this amazing organization in honor of every warrior I met, for the ones still fighting, and for the ones watching over us from above. Your dollars do far more than you could ever imagine.