Patients picture holiday season for Child Life program

Patients picture holiday season for Child Life program

October 25, 2002

Mittens, a snowman and peace are what some pediatric patients from the University of Chicago Children's Hospital are picturing this holiday season. Three talented children created holiday greeting cards while receiving care at the hospital. Their works of art are now on sale through December.

The greeting card effort will benefit the Child Life Playroom at the hospital, where toys and educational materials assist patients and families in the healing process.

"Last year was a record year," said Lynne Yuill, a child life specialist who is coordinating the Holiday Card Project. "This year we hope even more businesses and individuals will purchase these child creations," Yuill added.

Each of the three designs captures the patient's impression of the holiday season. The brightly colored designs – "Mittens," "Snowman" and "Peace" – are printed on quality card stock and contain a printed holiday message inside. The name of each child artist is printed on the back of each card. Each packet of 20 cards costs $15 (plus $5 per shipment).

"The children love it. They are so excited when their picture is selected," explained Yuill. The designer of "Peace" was studying to become a Child Life Specialist. The 19-year-old patient from northwest Indiana died of bone cancer this past January. Family and friends in her hometown plan to buy the "Peace" cards to pay tribute to her life.

Twelve-year-old Miguel Oropeza incorporated an American flag into "Snowman" in honor of all those who died in the September 11th tragedy. Six-year-old Madison Carter, a liver transplant patient, thought of mittens as a way to send warm wishes to everyone this holiday season.

Patients get involved in the Holiday Card Project through the Child Life program, which includes art therapy.

Cards may be purchased from the Child Life and Family Education Department located in the lower level of the University of Chicago Children's Hospital, Room C-10, 5839 S. Maryland Avenue, MC0123, Chicago, IL, 60637. Interested parties may also call (773) 702-6481, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. - 12noon. Orders can also be faxed to (773) 702-3812. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted.

As a major tertiary referral center, the University of Chicago Children's Hospital sees pediatric patients with the most complex medical problems and annually admits more than 4,700 children from the Chicago area, the Midwest and around the world. Young patients at the UCCH range from toddlers to teenagers and many suffer from cancer, liver disease, HIV, and burns.