When Breath Becomes Air: How storytelling can give hope and share love.
Books hold stories that have the power to touch lives, but these stories truly come alive when they’re shared out loud.
Together with the Ambassadors for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health (LPFCH) invited Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, widow of the late Dr. Paul Kalanithi who wrote When Breath Becomes Air, to speak at its annual fundraising event, Lunch and Learn. Lucy spoke about caregiving — for herself, for her family, and for her husband, both while Paul was alive and now during her grieving process.
“We selected When Breath Becomes Air because it was relevant to the programs the event was going to support,” explained Robin Nelson, the Foundation’s donor relations officer. Approximately 270 Ambassadors and their guests received a copy of When Breath Becomes Air, Paul’s New York Times best-selling memoir. In the book, Paul shares the challenges of living with a terminal illness and details the relationship between doctor and patient as he became both. The Ambassadors also hosted a book signing with Lucy. Robin noted, “The books provided a wonderful keepsake and a touching stewardship item for our guests.”
Each year, the Ambassadors select an area of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford to support. This year, they chose Bereavement & Family Guidance and Palliative Care. The Bereavement & Family Guidance program offers free supportive services, in both English and Spanish, which help bereaved families through the difficult time of losing a child. The hospital’s Palliative Care program supports children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, their families, and their community.
“Through the event, we were able to exceed our fundraising goals, which will be transformational for the programs as well as for the staff, the children, and the families at our hospital,” Robin told us. “It will fund a Bereavement therapist for two years, a pain management specialist for two years, and one year of the ‘Annual Day of Remembrance,’ an event that commemorates the children who have passed, honors their families, and pays tribute to the staff who cared for them.”
Thank you for sharing this touching story with us, Robin! We can’t wait to hear more about how your organization supports Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and spreads hope and love to the children and families receiving care there.
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This post was written by Elizabeth Lee, the marketing manager at BookPal. She is currently reading Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet and The Evil Hours by David J. Morris.