UCSF Children's Medical Center names bravekids.org resource center

By Bonz Otsuki on November 27, 2000

The Children’s Medical Center at the University of California, San Francisco
(UCSF) will dedicate its family resource center as the BraveKids.org Resource
Center at a reception at 1:30 pm on Tuesday, November 28, at UCSF Medical
Center.  The center will receive computers, books, toys and other support
materials from San Francisco-based BraveKids, a non-profit organization founded
to help children with chronic or life threatening illnesses and their families.

Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon and San Francisco 49ers quarterback
Jeff Garcia will attend the dedication event. An early supporter of BraveKids,
Gannon called the UCSF/BraveKids alliance “heartening and affirming” noting the
importance of having “a valuable resource like this, right here in our
community.”

The BraveKids.org Family Resource Center is one of many ways that the UCSF
children’s medical-center-within-a-medical-center helps children, parents and
their families cope with serious illness. “By donating these computers and
other materials, BraveKids helps our families keep in touch with the world,”
said Inez Wieging, RN, pediatric patient care manager. “With added access to
the BraveKids.org directory of resources in their home communities, parents and
social workers can plan to meet children’s special needs when they return
home.”

“More than 2.5 million seriously ill children are admitted to hospitals
nationally each year. When we started BraveKids in June of last year, we knew
that we were going to be helping these children and their families,” said Brave
Kids founder and executive director, Kristen Fitzgerald.  “It is very exciting
and affirming to open our first BraveKids.org Resource Center right here at the
Children’s Medical Center at UCSF.” 

“The reception to the site has been terrific,” Fitzgerald reported.  “We’re
hearing good things every day from kids, their families and their doctors.”

BraveKids launched its Web site www.bravekids.org in March of this year as an
Internet community for seriously ill children, their families, and their health
care workers. Fitzgerald said that Brave Kids’ unique feature is the
comprehensive support provided online, through a complete children’s section, a
resource directory for health care professionals and parents, chat rooms,
relevant medical information from healthcare professionals, a community chat
room, interactive contests and an online store for children with special
needs.  Brave Kids also provides computers to seriously ill children from low
income families through its corporate donation program.

The 49ers’ Garcia, who teamed up with Gannon as a second national spokesperson
said, “I think it is great that BraveKids.org provides this kind of support to
ill children and their families. I am particularly excited that the site is
accessible in Spanish - the Hispanic community is too often overlooked.”  The
Spanish version of www.bravekids.org was launched November 1, 2000.