Chase Richards was just two years old when a cancerous brain tumor took his life. While Chase was in the hospital, he and his sisters were able to spend time with Child Life Specialists who helped them express their feelings through play and art therapy, allowing them to cope with the difficulties of their situation. After Chase passed away, the Richards family learned that due to limited funding only a fraction of hospitalized children had access to these valuable services. In response, Chases’ parents, Susan & Robin Richards, founded the Chase Foundation in 1992 in loving memory of their son.
In 2000, the Child Life Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles was renamed to the Chase Child Life Program. The Chase Foundation’s primary purpose is to provide the financial support to keep Child Life Programs funded. The Chase Foundation supports the Child Life Programs at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, where in 2010, the Chase Foundation committed funding for 20 years in an effort to expand and enhance child life services available to pediatric patients at the hospital. In 2012, Chase Foundation continued this commitment by providing additional funding to make Child Life Specialists available in the operating room allowing children to utilize less anesthesia and have shorter recovery periods.Throughout its history, the Chase Foundation has been able to provide help and hope to thousands of hospitalized children and their families.