More than 40 residents of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children welcomed Seattle Mariner Nelson Cruz to their facility in Bayside, NY thanks to the Kids for Kids Foundation.
The visit was arranged by Committee Member John Carbone.
Many of the children at St. Mary’s have special needs and life-limiting conditions. And for most of them, they will never have the opportunity to experience life outside the hospital. That is why visits and events like this are so important to bringing experiences to them.
The families and staff also look forward to these visits for a different reason. “Staff have noted increased vocalizations in children, improved social skills and overall increased alertness in the children during and after special events and visits,” said Victoria Falcone, Manager of Strategic Partnerships for St. Mary’s.
Nelson was in town ahead of the Mariners series with the New York Yankees. And as Seattle is the team that travels the most out of all of the Major League Baseball teams due to their location, it’s rare that Nelson gets to make appearances while on the road. But he made a special exception for this trip.
“He knows how blessed and fortunate he is, and the game of baseball has given him so much. So he believes it is his responsibility to try to have a positive impact on as many people as possible, especially youth,” shared Nelson’s manager, Joseph Haché.
Despite the local rivalry, kids were happy to receive mini Mariners helmets that Nelson signed for them. “The kids love showing off their keepsakes from the visit and often hang them up on display in their room or carry them around with them,” Victoria shared.
St. Mary’s Hospital for Children is one of Kids for Kids Foundation’s newest beneficiaries.
St. Mary’s mission is to improve the health and quality of life for children with special needs and life-limiting conditions and their families. They are New York’s largest and most experienced provider of long-term care to children with medically complex conditions and NYC’s only post-acute care facility.
Starting in 2018, the Kids for Kids Foundation is committing $500,000 over the next 10 years to St. Mary’s.