Today was another wonderful day because I got to visit a Children's Hospital. This time, instead of visiting CHOC like I normally do, I drove down to San Diego to visit Rady Children's Hospital! I didn't get to bring my harp this time, but it was still a memorable experience being with the "kiddos". The experience was even better because Anna and Van came along (thanks Kati for setting up this visit for us!!!) This children's hospital in San Diego was built just over 2 years ago, so it is still pretty new. Before CHOC made their enormous renovations, Rady used to be the largest children's hospital in SoCal. Regardless of it's "smaller" size, Rady still makes miracles for so many children and families every day. Rady is still ranked in the Top 10 in U.S. News' Best Children's Hospitals. They hold this honor very seriously!
The kids we met today were so adorable and reminded me how strong these sweet spirits are. I am grateful every time I visit a place like this. We went to the first playroom where we met Cassie and Aashiya who are two amazing young women. Aashiya was there to color and craft while still recovering from an appendix removal surgery! Wow! I would have never known she was uncomfortable because she was so happy and excited to color with us. And little Cassie, oh my word, she was the cutest little thing I have ever seen. I colored a picture of Winnie the Pooh for her and signed it with my autograph. I will never forget her tiny little voice say, "Tink you" (and yes she pronounced it like that). Our next stop was another playroom and there was a sweet young girl named Leah! She and I were definitely excited because we had the same last name. :) She was there at her craft table making crowns with glitter (how perfect!) Our last stop was to visit little Isabella who is obsessed with Disney princesses! When we walked in her room, Anastasia was playing and I wanted to stay and watch the whole movie with her because it is one of my all time favorites (even though she doesn't have a Disney castle)! She showed us all the Disney dolls she had including Jasmine, Belle, Ariel, and even the new princess Merida! Bella's mom told us that Bella normally-without Chemo)-has naturally long curly orange hair just like Merida! So precious :)
I learned something really cool about this hospital. The whole hospital has an ocean theme, which is very fitting being that it's in San Diego, but each floor has a theme with matching decorations and wall murals. The first floor is "underwater", the second floor is "beach", the third floor is "sky", and the fourth floor is themed "space" and this floor is open to only special cases and treatments. It's a beautiful hospital and I am SO glad I got to visit this one! Every time I visit a children's hospital, I become more and more proud to be a Miss America girl because we work so closely with the Children's Miracle Network. Every cent that we raise as contestants goes to hospitals like Rady and CHOC and you can only imagine what miracles take place because of the funds raised. I know that if I win Miss California this year that I will visit more hospitals (childrens, general, or veterans) and make it a state-wide tour! I look forward to bringing my harp along with me too! :)
|With Belinda (aka "B"), Anna, and Van|