Why We Walk—One Grateful Patient Family's Story

Published on 
May 31, 2019
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When did you first start participating in Walk and Play L.A.?

Last year was the first time that my family and I signed up for this event.

What are you raising money to support?

Osumi-Cabaya.jpgLast year, we directed the funds we raised for the [Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation] Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit. This year, we have chosen to support the hospital’s Child Life Program.

How big is your team?

We’re aiming to have double the number of participants on our team this year compared to last year.

Who is on your team?

My team includes college friends, a few of my husband’s fraternity brothers, immediate family members, family friends and some of their children.

What inspired you to sign up for Walk and Play L.A.?

My husband and I wanted to show our appreciation to everyone at the hospital— the nurses, nursing assistants, doctors, therapy dogs, volunteers, cafeteria staff—whose support carried us through some of the toughest days during our child’s hospitalization. Also, we were excited about the possibility of meeting or reconnecting with other patient families who would also be there.

Tell us about your Walk and Play L.A. experience last year.

Everyone was so pumped and so energetic. It was awesome. We walked alongside so many great patients, hospital employees and their families, and it was nice to see other teams’ T-shirts, banners and signs. Our family also enjoyed the live entertainment and watching various famous athletes working with kids at the sports clinics. My little one was too young and tiny to participate but she enjoyed watching other kids, dancing along to the music and just enjoying the energy from the crowd. The best part for me personally was talking to people about our plans to continually participate in the Walk for many more years to come!

What would you tell people who are thinking about participating in Walk and Play LA?

Since my family and I participated last year, it was easy for us to encourage others to join this year. We told them about how much fun it was and how nice it was to meet so many other families who shared their own stories and inspirations about why they were walking. I can’t wait to make more of those connections this year.

What excites you most about Walk and Play L.A. this year?

I am looking forward to seeing familiar faces, meeting new teams and seeing my daughter get pumped up about an event that she knows is affiliated with Children's Hospital Los Angeles but is still too young to truly understand its importance. And finally, being able to proudly wear our team shirts! There’s been an increase in people asking us about our participation in the Walk and our involvement as the family of a Junior Ambassador for CHLA. I’ve been excited about this year’s Walk ever since the close of last year’s event because I knew the experience could only get better. My family and I cannot wait!