Corporate and Community Supporters Kick Off 5th Annual Walk for St. Mary’s Kids and Family Fun Day

St. Mary’s Names Young Patients Rosie Lawrence and William LaMar as Grand Marshals

Bayside, NY, March 20, 2008 – St. Mary’s Hospital for Children was abuzz with activity early Saturday morning, March 15, when community and corporate supporters, along with patient families and firefighters from Engine 320, Ladder 167, came out to help kick off the healthcare system’s annual Walk for St. Mary’s Kids and Family Fun Day, scheduled for May 18, 2008 at Belmont Park.

The brief program recognized team leaders, acknowledged corporate sponsors, and introduced two very courageous young patients who were named Grand Marshals of the Walk – Rosie and William. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room, as their parents spoke of their children’s successes while under St. Mary’s care.

Rosie, a charming and bright 13-year old, was hit by a car on her way to school last May. The impact was severe, breaking every bone in her left leg and causing serious internal damage to her spleen and liver. After extensive skin grafts, Rosie came to St. Mary’s to relearn how to walk, manage her condition, and regain her independence. Her indomitable spirit and constant encouragement by hospital staff put her back on her feet in a few short months. Rosie was recently discharged from St. Mary’s Hospital and continues to receive rehabilitation therapies through St. Mary’s Home Care program.

William is an adorable 7-year old who was born with a condition that threatened his very survival. Early on, William required a feeding tube for nourishment and Early Intervention services to address his multiple developmental delays. Today, William’s complex medical care is managed by St. Mary’s Care at Home Program, where he receives rehabilitation therapies and nursing care in the comfort of his own home or school. He has made wonderful gains in all areas of development; the newest and most exciting being the use of words…and the ability to ride an adapted bicycle.

The Kick-Off program marked the beginning of the annual community Walk event that helps raise funds and awareness to support the programs and services St. Mary’s provides to children with special healthcare needs throughout the New York metropolitan area.

The Walk has already generated considerable corporate support. This year’s presenting sponsor is SCS Astoria Energy Foundation. Sponsors to date include Commerce Bank, NY’s 106.7 FM, Aon Risk Services, Belmont Park, Cardiovascular Associates, Cord Meyer Development, Melrose Credit Union, My Gym, Queens Theatre in the Park, and the Queens Library. For more information on the Walk, call 718-281-8890.