Although the cow did not cooperate, Sometimes Life Stinks, the first fundraising event by the Get Well Map Foundation, was still a success.
Foundation President Christina Connors said the goal of the event – raising awareness and funding for children with medical challenges – was achieved even though the planned cow pie drop did not occur and the event turned out to be a 50-50 drawing instead.
In a perfect world, one of the Connors' cows would have grazed in the field with marked-off grids with raffle numbers purchased by individuals. Whatever numbered grid the cow did No. 2 on would have been the winner.
However, Connors, said the cow would not stand for being separated from the herd.
The newly formed Get Well Map Foundation provides personalized, bright-colored, poster-size themed maps for hospitalized children. Foundation Vice President Karen Duffield said the maps, with artwork by local artist John Donato, provide a path for children and families to chart progress from entering the hospital to going home. “It's a medical tool and communications tool for the family and child to understand the hospital experience,” Duffield said.
Connors said maps help caregivers and families answer the question posed most often by children: “When can I go home?”
Nemours A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington has integrated the maps in the children's oncology program. Connors said the maps, in English and Spanish, can be used at any pediatric hospital, and can also be adapted to be used at schools. Connors said other hospitals are using the maps on a trial basis.
Connors, an occupational therapist who developed the maps and started the foundation, said five years ago her son, Andrew, was a patient at A.I. duPont. She said she developed a map to help her then 5-year-old better understand the timeframe when he would be able to go home. “He could understand it with illustrations,” she said.
She said map themes – such as princess, super heroes and race cars – are selected to match a child's interests.
The fundraiser was held in collaboration with the Cape Henlopen High School Future Farmers of America. For more information, go to www.getwellmaps.org.