The Sibling Room, built with a grant from the Murphy Family Foundation, is part of the Miller Hospital’s Child Life Program which was developed to help support families who have a child in the hospital. When a child is hospitalized for a short or extended time period, the Sibling Room provides a safe, fun place for other siblings to be cared for. While the parent may be visiting the sick child or consulting with doctors, Child Life Specialists guide siblings .
Children with Sensory Integration (SI) problems have difficulty in simple functioning, such as balance and swallowing. They may be afraid of swings, playground equipment, be hypersensitive to loud noises, and have aversion to certain textures or smells. At the core of these difficulties is trouble integrating sensory data into their nervous system: sounds, sights, touch, taste, and smell. The Murphy Foundation Welcome Rehab Bags provide comfort and hygiene necessities for children who don’t have them.
The Amazing Babies Program was created to improve healthy outcomes for critically-ill babies who are at high risk upon discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit. many families have benefited from this program since its inception. Through this program, babies who are “fragile feeders” or have developmental concerns, return to have a follow-up visit with the NICU rehabilitation team within a few weeks of leaving the hospital.
During the last 2 years, over 15 to 20 families have participated in this Peer to Peer teen program funded by the Murphy Family Foundation. Because of illness and frequent hospitalization, teens are often isolated from their peers, which is particularly challenging in this period of their development. In this program, they get the chance to hang out and experience social interaction and remember they are still teenagers. The Peer to Peer Program matches carefully selected and specially trained young adult volunteers with critically ill teens in Southern California.
Beyond the projects they fund, the Murphy family is committed as active volunteers in their community. Every year, Susie’s Stars, a group of Murphy family members and friends, hit the pavement in their goal to help create a world free of Multiple Sclerosis, a debilitating and progressive disease of the nervous system that affects over 2.5 million people worldwide.
Children with disabilities enjoy skiing with adaptive equipment provided by a Murphy grant. The National Sports Center for the Disabled is one of the largest outdoor therapeutic recreation agencies in the world. Each year more than 3,000 children and adults with disabilities participate in their programs to learn more about sports and themselves.
The Bridge Project represents the Murphy Family Foundation’s first foray into education. Ambitious and ground-breaking, the Bridge Project with Cal State has the potential to significantly raise the awareness and increase the number of students with disabilities who attend college. The Pilot Project ideally fits the foundation’s key goals: it fulfills the criteria of enhancing the quality of life for youth with disabilities while providing means for them to become highly valued and contributing members of society.
The Music Therapist Program funded by the Murphy Family Foundation supports a new music therapist at Miller’s Hospital, bringing fun, skill and distraction to our pediatric patients. Children who have experienced accidents, are suffering from brain injury or illness really appreciate the joy and presence of music. Music is especially when a child has to undergo a difficult or painful procedure. Songs are also a great way of reinforcing exercises such as walking or speech therapy.