Sixteen years ago, Children’s Mercy Hospital saved Junior Chloe Vollenweider’s life. Now, she is working to return the favor. A year ago, Vollenweider applied to be a member of the hospital’s Teen Advisory Board (TAB.)
As a member of TAB, Vollenweider and 14 others meet every fourth Monday of the month and discuss ways to improve the hospital. The board also takes trips to the hospitals “teen room,” where teen patients admitted to the hospital can go to play video games and socialize. TAB visits the patients as well as organizes special activity and game nights for the teens.
“The teen room has a Wii, tons of video games and an air hockey table.” Vollenweider said. “It is a really nice place for teens admitted to the hospital to go and have fun.”
Over the next few weeks, the members of TAB will be selling Pedia Pals I.D. badges in the shape of happy-faced animals for $7 each and Children’s Mercy lanyards for $1. All of the proceeds will help to fund the making of a new pre-operational surgery video for children and families.
“The video explains what the kids will go through, what equipment is in the room and what to be expecting.” Vollenweider said.
The video is used to help calm children and make them comfortable with the operation they are about to undergo, as well as inform the family what their child will experience. The video currently used by the hospital is over 13 years old and with the development of new technology and procedures, is largely outdated.
The company the hospital must use to create the new film charges $1000 dollars a minute, currently having raised $3000 the hospital is hoping for 10-12 minutes of footage.
“I want to give back to the hospital because they have helped me so much over the past 16-and-a-half years,” Vollenweider said. “ I want to give back to the community that gave so much to me.”