Baseball Great Barry Bonds Strengthens Relationship with Children's Hospital

By Juliana Bunim

Barry Bonds spent time with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital patients in the hospital’s renovated Barry Bonds Family Foundation Playroom during a surprise visit in 2011.

Home run king Barry Bonds has pledged to continue his support of the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital with a three-year grant through his Barry Bonds Family Foundation. 

“This is a special place full of special people, and I am honored to have been a witness to the extraordinary dedication put forth every day by the staff, doctors and nurses,” said Bonds. “I am simply blessed to have the opportunity through my family foundation, to be able to provide monetary and moral support towards the hospital's efforts to make a child's stay a little more comfortable.”

Bonds’ formal relationship with UCSF began in 2007 – the same year he made history, setting a new Major League Baseball home run record with the San Francisco Giants. In 2009, the seven-time MVP donated nearly $250,000 for a much-needed renovation of the hospital’s playroom.

Home Run King Barry Bonds visited with a patient in his room at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital during a surprise visit in 2011.

“Through the generosity of the Barry Bonds Family Foundation, we are able to provide a space for our pediatric patients of all ages to play, relax and socialize in a stress-free environment,” said Kimberly Scurr, executive director of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. “It’s so important for us to normalize the hospital experience, and the playroom provides an outlet for them to just be kids.”

Bonds’ latest donation will support the playroom’s staffing and services. The room, which is stocked with toys, puzzles, books and craft materials, is staffed by the hospital’s child life specialists and trained volunteers. It is also staffed by the hospital’s full-time service dog Nilani, who eases patients’ anxiety and stress by letting them rub her tummy, giving a quick snuggle or just sitting nearby.

The playroom is just one of the services offered by the Child Life Department at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Child life specialists help children and families adjust to and understand illness and treatment through outlets such as music therapy, therapeutic clowning, poetry and journal writing and art therapy. Credentialed teachers also provide instruction to school-age children in the school room or at bedside.

“Over the years, I have spent many hours visiting with patients at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital,” said Bonds. “The children and parents I have met during my visits have always been filled with optimism and courage. On so many occasions I have drawn strength and inspiration from their courage.”

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital creates an environment where children and their families find compassionate care at the forefront of scientific discovery, with more than 150 experts in 50 medical specialties serving patients throughout Northern California and beyond. The hospital admits about 5,000 children each year, including 2,000 babies born in the hospital.

For more information, visit

Photos by Andreas Neumann