We lost our son, Chase, shortly after his second birthday. Cancer relentlessly took his life, but his last few weeks were spent in a hospital where, remarkably and thankfully, he was given the chance to be a child. In between procedures, Chase and his siblings met with Child Life Specialists who helped them learn how to deal with this terrible situation. They were able to play, draw, be with other children and forget about his illness, even if for only a few minutes, thanks to the Child Life Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. After Chase passed, we learned that only a fraction—about 25% of the hundreds of children at the hospital each day—had access to the program due to limited funding. We were determined to help secure the financial resources to see that every child at the hospital gains access to the Child Life Program and its art, play, therapy and interactive programs. We started a nonprofit organization—The Chase Foundation—to generate significantly more financial support for the Child Life Program and to create better play spaces for the children on every patient floor.
When we founded the Chase Foundation there was one playroom and two specialists working with the kids. Because of our foundation's support there are now six playrooms, one Teen Lounge and 20 specialists and counting at Children's Hospital Los Angeles; one playroom, one teen lounge and 19 specialists at UCLA Mattel and one playroom and two specialists at Providence Tarzana. We will always remember how the children enjoyed playing at the hospital, and are determined to see that more children each year gain a few more moments of peace, fun and childhood in their incredible young lives and incessant battles with illness. Thank you for your interest and consideration in joining our cause.
Susan & Robin Richards