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Support Chicago's Most Vulnerable Children
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Make A Difference. Become A Tutor!

Would you like to help improve the educational experience for our outpatients and their siblings? Can you commit to helping one child for 75 minutes each week from October through May?

Our award-winning tutoring program focuses on helping children from ages 6 to 14 with their schoolwork, primarily to advance reading and math skills. Volunteers may choose among four session times: 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. or 6 to 7:15 p.m. on either Tuesday or Thursday evenings. Sessions are held at the hospital.

This is an opportunity for you to work one-on-one with a child and give the gift of learning. For more details, please contact Adam Spencer, Volunteer Manager, at 773.256.5985 or

CVS Makes Back-to-School Special

Thank you to our friends at CVS Health for organizing a special school supply drive for the children of La Rabida! Recently, Jim Hogan, a strategic account executive at CVS, stopped by La Rabida to hand out supplies to our patients and families. For several years, CVS has donated school supplies to La Rabida to ensure our patients have just what they need to grow throughout the school year. We are so appreciative of this show of support for our kids!
Halloween Shopping? Support La Rabida!

As you shop for Halloween costumes this fall, use this special coupon from Spirit of Children to support La Rabida! Present the coupon in the store or enter code GIVING17 to save 10% on your order. Savings will be donated to La Rabida’s Child Life Program.
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With Infant Development, Zyaire Makes Great Strides

Every year, La Rabida Children’s Hospital makes a difference in the lives of hundreds of children who face developmental delays common among those dependent on medical technologies and who are born with medically complex conditions.

One patient who benefits from time spent with an infant development specialist is Zyaire, pictured. Now 5 months old, Zyaire was diagnosed with short gut syndrome when he was two weeks old and recently boarded the S.S. La Rabida after undergoing surgery at a medical center. While at La Rabida, he has worked regularly with an infant development specialist, Zakiya, who says “he has made some great gains since his initial admission.” Today, Zyaire is able to actively reach, hold his toys, and vocalize sounds in a communicative way. With the help of his care team, he is working on independent sitting, “tummy time,” sensorimotor exploration, and also enjoying play dates with fellow S.S. La Rabida passengers.

To learn more about our developmental programs for infants and children, click here. 

Register Today for the Friends of La Rabida Gala

We invite you to join us at the Friends of La Rabida Awards Celebration! The celebration will take place on Friday, November 10th at the beautiful Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in downtown Chicago. This major annual event raises significant funds to support La Rabida’s mission to provide quality healthcare for children with lifelong medical conditions, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

To make a reservation or learn more about sponsorship opportunities, click here.

Elijah Shares Sickle Cell Story on the Air

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. At La Rabida, we specialize in the medical management of this inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. Treatment prevents sickle cell damage to the lungs, spleen, liver and kidneys, and maximizes the child’s potential for a rewarding future.

One former patient of the La Rabida Sickle Cell Program was recently recognized on the air for his dedication to supporting others with the chronic condition. Elijah Powell is Chicago native and student of Morehouse University who has created a peer mentoring group for teens with sickle cell. WCIU’s The Jam featured Elijah in their “Real Chicagoans” segment and highlighted his positive impact on his community and beyond. Click here to watch the segment.

For more information about our sickle cell program or to make a donation in support of our patients, please click here. 

La Rabida Observes Traumatic Brain Injury Month

During Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month, we are sharing the story of Darrian, a former inpatient who overcame significant challenges at La Rabida after surviving a car accident last fall.

Because of the accident, Darrian, 6, suffered a traumatic brain injury that rendered him unable to walk or speak. He was stabilized at another hospital before he was transferred to La Rabida, where he would begin his inpatient rehabilitation process. When he boarded the S.S. La Rabida, he was using a wheel chair and could not walk or speak. His inpatient rehabilitation plan included four to five hours each day of physical, occupational and speech therapies. Through regular therapies, he regained the ability to walk, speak and take care of himself, and also improved his balance, strength and attention span.

At the time of his discharge this past spring, Darrian could take up to 20 steps independently and used a walker for longer distances. Over the summer, he made a joyful return to La Rabida. Now able to walk entirely on his own, he donated his wheelchair and walker to current patients of the hospital.

To learn more about the services La Rabida provides for children who have sustained brain injuries, click here.

Thank You to our Friends at PNC Bank

Our supporters are perfect examples of the compassion we aim to demonstrate every day at La Rabida. Recently, our kids, families and staff were treated to a visit from PNC Illinois President Scott Swanson and a team of PNC employees who spent a day making crafts with our kids, decorating our clinic and patient rooms, and tidying up our outdoor space. Mr. Swanson also hosted a wonderful “story time” on the S.S. La Rabida inpatient unit, where he got to spend quality time entertaining, comforting and getting to know our patients.

This November, we are thrilled to honor Mr. Swanson, a supporter of La Rabida, with an award for his outstanding community support at our Annual Friends of La Rabida Celebration. Through his commitment to PNC’s "Grow Up Great" initiative, Scott has demonstrated his belief that every child deserves the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. His service on several civic and non-profit boards in Chicago has shown a commitment to helping the betterment of our city.