A child undergoing a bone marrow transplant must stay in a sterile environment for six weeks. At eleven years of age, Kelsey endured six weeks without playmates and with visits from family dressed in gowns, masks and gloves. Kelsey remembers those long days without her familiar toys and stuffed animals. She went from terrible nausea and fear to exhausted boredom, with only the approved toys her family brought in after brief forays searching for another item that could bring comfort to the very ill child.
When Kelsey was home again and well, the family started providing a crate of sterilized toys for each child entering Children’s Hospital’s Bone Marrow Unit. Each toy could be wiped with disinfectant and was purchased with the age and gender of the new patient in mind. The Bohman’s provided two crates a month in 2002, but that number has risen to eight a month in 2012, primarily because of Children’s Hospital’s growing reputation for successful bone marrow transplant outcomes. Originally Pat’s self-funded project, Kelsey’s Krates is now a Kelsey’s Kids project and could be expanded from the sales of marshmallow launchers.
Today, every transplant patient entering The Children’s Hospital’s Bone Marrow Unit receives a personalized crate filled with age and gender appropriate toys to help fill the time the child must spend in isolation. Having experienced the fear of the unknown, and the often tedious aftermath, Kelsey knows the value of each toy placed in a Kelsey’s Krate.
Click here to designate your donation dollars to Kelsey’s Krates so that every child entering the Bone Marrow Unit at Children’s Hospital can have safe and appropriate toys.