Children's Mercy Hospital makes World Series wager with San Francisco hospital to raise money

Posted at 4:57 PM, Oct 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-24 18:32:10-04

Children’s Mercy Hospital is hoping a friendly wager will raise thousands of dollars for children.

The hospital is challenging Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford to a friendly fundraising competition.

People can pick their World Series team, the Kansas City Royals or San Francisco Giants, and make a donation in that teams honor to the hospital they want to win.

“We want you to vote for the Royals because we want to show San Francisco that Kansas City has the bigger heart, we love our team better and that we can support the Royals,” Allison Abplanalp, Director of Philanthropic Community Engagement & Events at Children’s Mercy Hospital, said.

Donations can be made through the Big League Fan Challenge page through the Crowd Rise site online.

As of 4:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, Kansas City was trailing in donations at $2,895 to San Francisco’s $4,481.

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The money raised for Children’s Mercy Hospital will go to the I Love Children’s Mercy fund, which provides resources for the Child Life program.

Lauren Johnson is a Child Life Specialist. Her primary job is to play with the young patients at Children’s Mercy.

“We have toys, we have crafts, painting,” she said. “Pretty much anything you can think of, we bring and provide for the kids as much as possible.”

Nicholas Donaldson, 5, is recovering after open heart surgery, his third procedure since he was born with a small right ventricle.

“We are going to be a happier little boy now and get to play harder and run faster,” said mom, Melissa Donaldson.

Melissa said their stay at Children’s Mercy was much easier because of the Child Life program.

“Even once the kids get out of the ICU area, they immediately start play groups. They have lots of crafts, toys,” she said. “They never have to really feel like they're in the hospital.”

Johnson also supports children when they undergo procedures, a really tough time for young children.

“We come in a provide distraction and support during procedures,” Johnson said. “I can use the iPad or I can use light spinners and bubbles for young kid to help make that experience a little less stressful for them and a little more fun and less traumatizing.”

Child Life also supports parents and siblings who may spend extended hours at the hospital.

“Any clothes that they might need, basic toiletries, activities for the siblings who are here,” said Abplanalp. “When people are here for a longer period of time, we have toys for the kiddos if they're celebrating a milestone or a birthday here or a reward or encouragement if they just made it through a tough procedure.”

Abplanalp said the goal is to raise $25,000 for the I Love Children’s Mercy fund. The challenge will last through the World Series and wrap up on Oct. 31.