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TODAY news for Thursday, December 14, 2006

Loma Linda University Children's Hospital news

LLUCH upgrades playroom

The Debbie Chisholm Memorial Foundation donated $25,000 to Children�s Hospital to revamp the fourth floor playroom.
The Debbie Chisholm Memorial Foundation donated $25,000 to Children’s Hospital to revamp the fourth floor playroom. Pictured from left to right are Corky Bell, executive director of DCMF; Judy Ford, treasurer of DCMF; Elaine Chisholm, mom of Debbie Chisholm; Ana, a unit 4800 patient; Theron Reed, president of DCMF; Diane Blasdel, vice president of DCMF; and Fred Chisholm, father of Debbie Chisholm.
Children’s Hospital held a grand reopening of the hematology/oncology unit’s playroom on November 29. The Debbie Chisholm Memorial Foundation gave a gift of $25,000 to the LLUCH Foundation to upgrade and improve the unit 4800 playroom.

The newly renovated playroom has a much more vibrant feel with new colors, compared to the relatively drab gray and white checkered pattern the room sported prior to the remodel. A computer in one corner allows schoolchildren to do homework online, while across the room are games and musical toys for toddlers. There is a television for kids to watch videos and play video games. One of the walls is painted white so kids can use dry-erase markers to write on it. A mural painted on the wall, depicting children standing atop a globe, helps add to the encouraging atmosphere.

Dinah Evans, head of child life at LLUCH, was particularly pleased with the additional storage space built into a cabinet in the middle of the room.

“The storage was so bad before, we couldn’t store all of the toys,” says Ms. Evans. “Now it’s kid-friendly. I think it encourages kids of all ages, even teenagers, to come in.”

The Debbie Chisholm Memorial Foundation, which made this remodel possible, is dedicated to granting wishes of seriously ill children within the Inland Empire. In February of 1994, Deputy Sheriff Fred Chisholm and his wife Elaine lost their twelve-year-old daughter, Debbie, to brain cancer. That same month, the Debbie Chisholm Memorial Foundation was established to grant the wishes of seriously ill children. DCMF incorporated in July of 1994 and has since raised more than $1,000,000 dollars through fundraising events and private donations. The majority of wish referrals come from the children’s oncology ward at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. To date the foundation has granted more than 360 wishes that have included trips to Europe, Hawaii, and Disney-world, personal computers, Toys-R-Us shopping sprees, and meeting *NSYNC. To learn more, visit <www.dcmfwishes.org>.

By Preston Clarke Smith

TODAY news for Thursday, December 14, 2006