NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Hospital for Children announced it is teaming up with the What You Give Will Grow foundation, inspired by New Orleans Saints’ punter, Thomas Morstead and Triumph Over Kid Cancer (TOKC) to benefit the hospital’s Child Life program.
Additionally, Morstead also announced What You Give Will Grow would donate up to $15,000 to further enhance Ochsner’s Child Life services.
“While doctors and nurses tend to a child's medical needs Certified Child Life Specialists, fix broken smiles through fun activities and events. For this reason, our foundation has pledged annual support to Ochsner's Child Life Department,” said Thomas Morstead. “We are excited to bring in partners like Triumph Over Kid Cancer to strengthen our efforts. Together, along with our support, we can brighten the day of little one's battling some terrible illnesses.”
Ochsner Hospital for Children provides pediatric care across 30 specialties and cares for more than 80,000 children statewide every year. The Child Life program is staffed by Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) who are professionally trained in the areas of child development, child life, counseling and psychology, and have expertise in dealing with children’s concerns and reactions to the hospital and their illnesses.
“Programs like Child Life are critical to ensure that life remains as normal as possible for our patients and their families during a very difficult time in their lives,” said Dr. Craig Lotterman, Chairman of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Ochsner Hospital for Children. “We are excited to partner with What You Give Will Grow and Triumph Over Kid Cancer to further develop our program, and we are grateful for their generous donation.”
Since its inception, Morstead’s foundation has raised approximately $100,000 to support local causes and organizations in the Gulf South Region with a strong focus on children’s charities and cancer initiatives. This year, the foundation is once again working with TOKC to support that mission.
In the words of TOKC co-founder, James Ragan, who lost his battle with a rare bone cancer at the age of 20, “I have learned that the best life is lived asking not what happens to me if I stop to help, but what happens to kids with cancer if I don’t.”
TOKC works to improve the lives of children with cancer by raising their spirits, raising the public’s awareness, and funding research to improve the treatment and survivability of pediatric cancers.
TOKC plans to contribute to the What You Give Will Grow’s donation to Ochsner’s Child Life program through proceeds raised by two weekend events.
On Saturday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m., the two organizations will premiere “Until 20,” an independent film about James and his courageous battle with cancer. It will be the first time Morstead, a close family friend, will see the film shown at Tulane University – McAlister Auditorium.
On Sunday, October 9 at 5:00 p.m., TOKC will hold the 7th Annual New Orleans Big Easy Fundraiser in the Arbor Room at Popp Fountain at New Orleans City Park.
To purchase tickets to “Until 20” or to learn more about the Big Easy Fundraiser, click here.
Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 28 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 60 health centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 17,000 employees and over 1,000 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 1,000 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.