On Jan. 24, the fifth floor toy closet at Cardon Children’s / Banner Desert Medical Center was dedicated for a second time within a three-year period to Audrey Jane Murphy, former patient of Cardon Children’s and daughter of Willmeng’s President, James Murphy.
Organized through donations made to the Banner Foundation through the annual Help Fill the Toy Closet Golf Tournament, and stocked by a dedicated Child Life department, the toy closet will bring joy to thousands of children following painful procedures or scary treatments that they have undergone – Audrey included.
Audrey was born at 1 lb., 10 oz. and spent the first five months of her life in the NICU unit at Cardon Children’s before becoming the first baby ever to be discharged with an oxygen requirement of just two liters per minute.
“Given our personal experience at Cardon Children’s, which was amazing from day one through discharge, our family has respect and admiration for the Banner Foundation and their commitment to the “Fill the Toy Closet” campaign, which is led by Randy Bierbaum, project executive at Banner Health,” said Murphy. “We have seen firsthand how these closets afford the kids a moment of peace and happiness during some very trying times.”
On Jan. 11, 2017, Audrey underwent her final medical procedure – the removal of her feeding tube. “[Before the appointment] I was really scared, but when I laid down and took a deep breath I felt better,” said six-year-old Audrey Murphy, who was pleased to have the tube out and even more happy to receive a toy immediately after. “I will not be afraid if I have to go back!”
“These toys resonate with the kids on the heels of their procedure, which catapults the toy experience to a higher level,” said James. In addition to being a platinum sponsor of the toy closet, Willmeng’s employees hold an annual in-house toy drive to show their support and to keep the closet fully stocked.
Kelli Marshall, a Help fill the Toy Closet Golf Tournament committee member and senior administrative assistant at Cardon Children’s / Banner Desert, says that the donated books and toys help develop the children’s brains and cultivate learning through technology. “Willmeng’s generosity, commitment and love displayed through giving over the last several years is amazing and greatly appreciated by the children,” she said.
To learn more about getting involved by helping Willmeng fill the toy closet, contact Krystal Book at firstname.lastname@example.org.