Announcement: In January 2016 we will open our second location! Charna’s Kids Club will open at North Shore-lij cohen Children’s Medical Center. Our services will be available to a sibling population of approximately 300,000 children
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- Charna Radbell Foundation
- Summer Sizzle Celebration: Hot, Hot, Hot!
- Our Super Star Sib Family : The Almontes
- OF SIBLINGS REPORT THAT THEY THEY FEEL BETTER BECAUSE OF A SIBLING SUPPORT PROGRAM.
- A Safe Place to Feel where children feel safe and loved “Charna’s Kids Club is not a day- care center. Therapeutic, medi
- “The doctors saved our son and Charna’s Kids Club saved our daughter.” “Charna’s Kids” Need You!
- Giustine S. Altschuler
- Arlene and Larry Radbell Nicole and Jason Rabin Remembering Charna Radbell Reasons to Give
- For more information about Charna’s Kids Club or to make a donation, please call 212.750.9890
In January 2016 we will
open our second location!
Charna’s Kids Club will open
Children’s Medical Center.
Our services will be available
to a sibling population of
approximately 300,000 children.
Meet Our Team Members
A Super Star Sib Family
Our New Partners
A Safe Place to Feel
Reasons to Give
read more on page 3
Who We Are
• an award-winning child life sibling support program
• a model for other medical institutions across the globe
• a safe, recreational, and therapeutic play space for the well siblings
of the inpatient pediatric population within children’s hospitals
providing sibling support
The enormous success of Charna’s Kids Club has received attention from around
the world. In recent years, health care professionals throughout the United States
and from other countries, including China, England, Japan, and Thailand, have vis-
ited our flagship location at the NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s
Hospital (NYP-MSCH). They have expressed an interest in establishing our sibling
support program in their own institutions in the near future.
The global impact of our award-winning sibling support program is the result of
the outstanding team leadership we have at NYP-MSCH. Under the guidance of
Toni Millar, MS, CCLS, and Alice Bergmann, LMSW, Charna’s Kids Club has been
honored with accolades and has become the standard for Child Life sibling support
programs. Throughout the medical community in New York and abroad, Ms. Millar
lectures on the efficacy and essential component of Child Life involvement in pedi-
atric health care.
Leadership at North Shore-LIJ Cohen Children’s Medical Center has recognized the
need for our program and has invited us into their home. We are so honored to have
this opportunity to help more of “Charna’s Kids.” On Long Island, Charna’s Kids Club
will be able to provide a therapeutic and recreational environment for thousands
more children who are struggling with the challenges of their sibling’s devastating
illness. We are thrilled about this new partnership.
Charna Radbell Foundation
The Almonte Family has been a member of Charna’s Kids Club for the past six years.
Giselle and Bolivar Almonte are the parents of two wonderful children, 7 year old Itxell
and 9 year old Sebastian. From the minute that Sebastian walked into Charna’s Kids
Club at the age of three, we have never
been the same. He truly lit up the room
with his effervescent smile, and he con-
tinues to brighten the lives of all those
around him. In fact, each member of the
Almonte family has inspired the hospital
and program communities with their
spirit of generosity.
Sebastian is one of the longest standing participants in Charna’s Kids Club sibling sup-
port program, and we are so proud of him and his family. Throughout the past 6 years
of his sister’s medical journey, Sebastian has been there for her every step of the way.
He is an extraordinarily compassionate young man, always bringing toys for her as well
as other children. His kindness extends to welcoming those new to the program, and
he is never short on friendly smiles and open arms.
Giselle and Bolivar Almonte were among the first families to participate in the Spanish-
speaking advisory panel at the NYP Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. They have
offered valuable advice to hospital leadership. And, for years, they have given back to
the community by helping other families navigate their own medical journeys.
The generosity and impact of this Super Star Sib Family has been acknowledged by
the Ronald McDonald House Hospital Outreach Program and by Broadway profession-
als. Together, they afforded Sebastian the opportunity to compose a song about his life
which was performed by Broadway singers. This deserving family was also honored
with a trip to Disney World which was made possible by the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Giselle, Bolivar, Sebastian and Itxell Almonte are the epitome of kindness and strength.
Their loving family connections serve as a model for Charna’s Kids Club. Most impor-
tant for our Star Sibs, Sebastian’s relationship with his sister, Itxell, brings to the fore-
front the importance of the sibling connection in health care.
Summer Sizzle Celebration:
Hot, Hot, Hot!
This annual celebration takes place in the Wintergarden Plaza at NewYork-Presbyterian
Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. This heartwarming and festive gathering honors
the families of school-age patients, especially their well siblings, all of whom are strug-
gling with tremendous challenges. It is an opportunity for these special families to cre-
ate memories, share smiles, and strengthen their relationships.
Each year we are joined by past participants, our
Super Sibs, who share their stories of encourage-
ment. We were entertained by our very own and
charismatic MC, Meester Mario Calderon and his
family, along with spin master, DJ X-Ray. They never
missed a beat, engaging the children in games, activ-
ities, and songs while keeping the party upbeat and
fun all day! Sensational performances were given
by the world famous Kid Glyde and the Dynamic
Rockers, and by vocalist Anna LuBitz. She graced
us with four pop ballads, leading the children into our
highly anticipated annual “Charna’s Sing-A-Long.”
Our siblings and families had a great time, and we
can’t wait for next year’s Sizzle!
Our Super Star Sib Family
Alice Bergmann, Program Coordinator (right)
Marisa Gordon, Co-Facilitator (left)
We would like to honor Alice Bergmann
and Marisa Gordon, our very own
“dynamic duo” at NewYork-Presbyterian
Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. This
journal is a testament to their expertise
and commitment. Developed by our own
sibling support program colleagues and
particpants, it is used as a therapeutic
tool throughout the entire hospital.
As featured in the 2015 June/July issue
of NYPress, Alice Bergmann states, “We
wanted to develop something that was
just for them, so we created a unique
workbook called ‘The Official-Germ-
Crushing, Bacteria-Smashing, You-Are-
Not-Alone Journal.’” She adds, “The kids
use the workbook as a personal journal
in which they draw themselves as brave
and powerful, having the ability to crush
bacteria and germs. Then, they develop
their own story line to address their fears
Marisa Gordon, Co-Facilitator of Charna’s
Kids Club Sibling Support Program,
joined our team in 2014. She has a
background in theater which comple-
ments her excellent Child Life skills in
developing therapeutic and dramatic play
activities for the siblings.
We know that both of these women have
contributed a great deal to Charna’s
legacy of giving the gift of hope, joy, and
We have a large sibling population!
Approximately 300,000 children, along
with their siblings and parents walk
through our doors annually. These chil-
dren need our help. The siblings, in
particular, are struggling to cope with
the disruption of their normal family
life. Charna’s Kids Club will allow us
to provide resources for these special
children, preschoolers to adolescents,
when they come to visit their loved
ones in the hospital.
Not only will they receive a variety of
opportunities to help them cope with
their current challenges, so, too, will
their entire families. It is our goal to
create an environment that is family-
focused and developmentally engag-
ing, in order to help the whole family
heal during the difficult periods of hos-
pitalization. We are now able to do just
that because of the generous support
of the Charna Radbell Foundation.
With enormous success over the last
several years at another peer medi-
cal institution in the New York area,
the Charna Radbell Foundation has
demonstrated its commitment to the
provision of specialized services for the
siblings of school-age patients.
We have looked to the foundation’s
sibling support program, Charna’s Kids
Club, as a model to help us “bridge the
gap” in serving our own younger sibling
population. After much anticipation and
preparation, Cohen Children’s Medical
Center is deeply grateful that Charna’s
Kids Club will open its second location
at our hospital in January 2016.
“Siblings, in particular, experience severe loss when their loved one is diagnosed
with a chronic or life-threatening illness. For the first time ever, Charna’s Kids Club
will allow us to focus much needed attention on our sibling population of nearly
300,000 children.” - Giustine S. Altschuler, Senior Director of Development
Charna’s Kids Club addresses the emo-
tional needs and interests of school-age
siblings of young patients. It creates a
safe and caring environment in which
the well siblings can continue to develop
and thrive in spite of the hardships they
are experiencing due to their sibling’s
struggle with a devastating illness. This is
very important as these children, along-
side their parents, usually witness the
physical decline of their siblings.
Our highly specialized staff members
support these siblings throughout every
step of their emotionally difficult journey.
They utilize therapeutic, medical, educa-
tional, and recreational forms of play to
teach the siblings how to cope in their
new environment. Among other factors,
these activities are specifically devel-
oped and used according to a child’s
age, the severity and type of illness, and
the relationship with the sibling.
Coping strategies include, but are not
limited to, recognizing and verbalizing
one’s own emotions and developing
empathy for other children who might be
exhibiting pain, anger, or frustration as
well. Siblings also learn that their feelings
are normal and that they are not alone.
These are often the first steps in learn-
ing how to develop coping skills, work
through problems, and ask for help when
A Safe Place to Feel
where children feel safe and loved
“Charna’s Kids Club is not a day-
care center. Therapeutic, medi-
cal, educational, and recreational
forms for play are all highly spe-
cialized tools with specific goals
in helping a child to cope.”
Cohen Children’s Medical Center is a comprehensive, stand-alone children’s
hospital which serves as the nucleus of all care provided to children through-
out the North Shore-LIJ Health System. We are committed to providing high-
quality and affordable health care to the surrounding population of 8 million
people. We are located in New Hyde Park, NY.
There is an overwhelming need for Charna’s Kids Club, our award-winning sibling support program.
Hospital administrators from around the world have inquired about establishing our program in their
children’s hospitals, but we need your help to make these important services available to them.
services, catering, activities, special events, and the salaries for our Program Coordinators and staff
members. We would be especially grateful for your continued support,
and it would mean so much to the children.
“The doctors saved our son
and Charna’s Kids Club
saved our daughter.”
“Charna’s Kids” Need You!
Charna Radbell Foundation
Office of Development
Office of Development
245 East 63rd Street, Suite 1012
New York, New York 10065
Arlene and Larry Radbell, Trustees
Nicole and Jason Rabin, Trustees
Charna Radbell was a vibrant and wonderful
young woman who, in the prime of her life, lost
her courageous battle with colon cancer. Under-
standing and recognizing the challenges of fight-
ing a life threatening disease, Charna was always
very concerned with the welfare of others. It was
her vision to help many people of various ages,
races, and economic backgrounds. Even in her fi-
nal days, it became her mission to bring sunshine
into the lives of children suffering with serious ill-
nesses, especially the well siblings of school-age
patients who would feel “forgotten” during such
Charna recognized the value of such support
which included the well being of the entire fam-
ily. Before she passed, Charna established the
Charna Radbell Foundation to spread hope and
sunshine to all those who would come to Charna’s
Today, Charna would be so proud and humbled.
Over the years so many people have honored her
legacy with their commitment to the foundation’s
mission. Their participation and generosity con-
tinue to help thousands of families each year.
In fact, the impact of Charna’s Kids Club has far
exceeded our expectations. Our sibling support
program has become an award-winning one with
global reach, serving as a model for other chil-
dren’s hospitals throughout the world. We are so
grateful to all those who have made this possible.
Arlene and Larry Radbell
Nicole and Jason Rabin
Remembering Charna Radbell
Reasons to Give
Please help our siblings get the therapeutic care they need.
Your donations will provide the following benefits to thousands
will last a lifetime:
• emotionally and developmentally appropriate sibling support
• a variety of coping techniques
• a network of siblings who share similar experiences
• an improved quality of life for the siblings and their families
For more information about Charna’s Kids Club or
to make a donation, please call 212.750.9890
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