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  • Lezlie Sterling / lsterling@sacbee.com

    Landyn, left, and Londyn Brown, are taken for a walk down the hall at Sutter Memorial Hospital in a wagon like ones donated by the local nonprofit, Angels for Hearts. The organization provides gifts to pediatric heart patients at area hospitals and is asking Book of Dreams readers for specialized wheelchairs that look like race cars to be donated to the pediatric cardiac units at Sutter Memorial, UC Davis Children’s Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

  • Lezlie Sterling / lsterling@sacbee.com

    Brianna Montelongo, 16, rests in her room a day after her open-heart surgery at Sutter Memorial. Local nonprofit Angels for Hearts, which provides gifts to pediatric heart patients, is asking Book of Dreams readers for specialized wheelchairs that look like race cars to be donated to the pediatric cardiac units at Sutter Memorial, UC Davis Children’s Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

  • Lezlie Sterling / lsterling@sacbee.com

    While recovering from open-heart surgery, Brianna Montelongo, 16, uses an iPad donated to Sutter Memorial Hospital by the local nonprofit, Angels for Hearts, as Nicole Wilson, a cardiac physician assistant shows her some cool apps. The organization provides gifts to pediatric heart patients at area hospitals and is asking Book of Dreams readers for specialized wheelchairs that look like race cars to be donated to the pediatric cardiac units at Sutter Memorial, UC Davis Children’s Hospital and Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

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  • Book of Dreams: Music is whole-body therapy for Adult Day Program students
  • Book of Dreams: Page-turning gadget would make reading easier
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  • All about Book of Dreams
  • BOOK OF DREAMS WISHES

    Here’s a list of wishes published so far in the series:

    Dream: Help for avid book reader Priscilla Wong, who was born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy.

    Needed: An electronic page turner. Total: $350.

    Dream: Mobile beds for the nonprofit Family Promise of Sacramento, which provides shelter for families and helps them overcome homelessness.

    Needed: 14 rollaway beds and bedding. Total: $4,200.

    Dream: Supplies for Wellness Within, a mind-body wellness center for cancer patients and their families.

    Needed: Supplies for classes, food for nutrition classes, drums for meditative sessions, and art supplies. Total: $5,000.

    Dream: Portable computers for Stephanie Spidell and her daughters, one of whom seeks a career in the medical field. One of Spidell’s daughters, 2-year-old Khya, was born with a brain malformation and died Nov. 22.

    Needed: Three laptop computers. Total: $3,000.

    Dream: Musical instruments for United Cerebral Palsy of Sacramento and Northern California’s Adult Day Program.

    Needed: Set of instruments that can be played together in harmony. Total: $3,000

  • BOOK OF DREAMS WISHES

    Here’s a list of wishes published so far in the series:

    Dream: Help for avid book reader Priscilla Wong, who was born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy.

    Needed: An electronic page turner. Total: $350.

    Dream: Mobile beds for the nonprofit Family Promise of Sacramento, which provides shelter for families and helps them overcome homelessness.

    Needed: 14 rollaway beds and bedding. Total: $4,200.

    Dream: Supplies for Wellness Within, a mind-body wellness center for cancer patients and their families.

    Needed: Supplies for classes, food for nutrition classes, drums for meditative sessions and art supplies. Total: $5,000.

  • Thank you for supporting the
    2012 Book of Dreams!
  • BOOK OF DREAMS WISHES

    Here’s a list of wishes published so far in the series:

    Dream: Help for avid book reader Priscilla Wong, who was born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy.

    Needed: An electronic page turner. Total: $350.

    Dream: Mobile beds for the nonprofit Family Promise of Sacramento, which provides shelter for families and helps them overcome homelessness.

    Needed: 14 rollaway beds and bedding. Total: $4,200.

    Dream: Supplies for Wellness Within, a mind-body wellness center for cancer patients and their families.

    Needed: Supplies for classes, food for nutrition classes, drums for meditative sessions, and art supplies. Total: $5,000.

    Dream: Portable computers for Stephanie Spidell and her daughters, one of whom seeks a career in the medical field. One of Spidell’s daughters, 2-year-old Khya, was born with a brain malformation and died Nov. 22.

    Needed: Three laptop computers. Total: $3,000.

    Dream: Musical instruments for United Cerebral Palsy of Sacramento and Northern California’s Adult Day Program.

    Needed: Set of instruments that can be played together in harmony. Total: $3,000

    Dream: Household items for Volunteers of America’s Sacramento Senior Safe House, a six-bedroom emergency shelter for people 62 and older.

    Needed: A dishwasher and other kitchen items. Total: $2,000.

    Dream: Cold-weather apparel for HOPE Inc.’s “GLoven the Homeless” campaign.

    Needed: 1,500 hats and gloves. Total: $4,000.

    Dream: Supplies for Women’s Wisdom Art, a low-cost program for women overcoming homelessness and other obstacles.

    Needed: A color laser printer-scanner, art and office supplies. Total: $5,000.

Book of Dreams: Gifts for pediatric heart patients a holiday boost

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 - 10:40 pm
Last Modified: Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 - 3:36 pm

For years, The Sacramento Bee's holiday drive has sought to help those in need in the capital region. Today, we start a new series of tales of hope and generosity.

Brianna Montelongo listened to her favorite band, Ghost Town, as the haze of anesthesia wore off from her open heart surgery.

The normally soft-spoken 16-year-old sang along as medical staff at Sutter Children’s Center, Sacramento, at Sutter Memorial Hospital bustled around her last month. When Child Life Specialist Sara Anderson had learned of Brianna’s love of the band, she used an iTunes gift card to download the album onto an iPad available to patients in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Two days later, Brianna was using the iPad once more, playing games before settling in for a nap so her body could continue to heal.

The technology – and sense of normalcy – comes to the hospital courtesy of Angels for Hearts, a local nonprofit that works with area hospitals to provide gifts to pediatric heart patients, up to age 18, to aid in their recovery and lift their spirits during the holiday season.

The group also gave Brianna a $75 gift card after learning from nurses that the high school junior’s laptop broke.

Brianna beamed as she thanked Angels for Hearts founder Kimberly Kaufman for helping make her hospital stay more pleasant.

“It’s really comfortable here,” she said. “Everyone’s really nice and hopeful.”

This year, the organization has asked the Book of Dreams for help purchasing specialized wheelchairs that look like race cars for the pediatric units at Sutter Children’s Center, UC Davis Children’s Hospital and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Kaufman and her family know firsthand that there is no normalcy when it comes to having a child hospitalized or diagnosed with a chronic illness like a heart issue.

Kaufman is a heart patient, though diagnosed as an adult. The group does all it can to ensure that patients’ and families’ “wishes, wants and needs” are met during hospital stays.

“This is one less thing for parents to worry about, especially at Christmas,” Kaufman said. “If your child has been in the hospital for days or weeks or months and the parents have had to take a leave of absence or reduce their work schedule, they’re not thinking about Santa. Heart kids are kids first and foremost ... so they’re thinking about Santa, and if Santa will find them in the hospital.”

Anderson, of Sutter Children’s Center, said the organization’s efforts around the holidays are a huge help for the hospital, as well as a spirit lifter for patients and their families.

“Christmas is a hard time of year to have a hospitalized child,” she said. “This gives the children joy and connects parents with other families. It’s a big deal.”

Needed: Six race-car wheelchairs.

Total: $5,000.

Book of Dreams 2013: Read all the dreams and make your donation

From the editor: With your generosity, we can help those in need

Print the donation form

Donate online here

Read more articles by Niesha Gates



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