Giving Back Childhood At Lily’s Pad

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Giving Back Childhood At Lily’s Pad

Lily’s Pad came to life in the mind of Brad Taylor whose six year old daughter, Lily, was diagnosed with high risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 3.  Lily, who just recently finished her treatment and is now cancer free,  spent just over a month living in Cardon’s Children’s Hospital fighting to become stable in order to begin her outpatient treatment program, a program she would undergo for the next two and a half years.  As Lily’s treatment progressed, the chemotherapy she received daily attacked not only the cancer she was fighting but also her immune system.  This immune compromised state forced Lily away from the activities and friends that she loved, and it became increasingly difficult to motivate her to go to the hospital to receive her treatment.  She was forced to give up seeing her peers, going to public places and what she loved to do the most, play on a public playground with other “new friends”.  For 10 months, Lily’s parents struggled to find ways to keep her occupied, happy, and recovering not only from the disease but from the psychological struggles that came with Lily being confined to her home.  On October 30, 2018 Lily returned to preschool after almost a year of isolation.  The once social butterfly had now become shy, scared, and terrified of crowds, noise and the chaos of a school environment. It became obvious to Lily’s family that there was a missing piece in the treatment plan for these young patients battling an autoimmune state and with that as their driving force, the concept of Lily’s Pad was born.

 

The first stages of Lily’s Pad development began with the search for a building. This need was met by a generous 13 year donation by the Sterling Philips family, owners of Coinless Laundry.  The space is it at 1348 E. Apache in Tempe.  John Kane of Architekton in Tempe, offered his firm’s architectural services for the design. This project has caught the attention of Arizona State University.  The Dean of Research has issued a $20,000.00 research grant for the Fall.  This grant will be used to study the psychological benefits of Lily’s Pad on children.  Professor Deborah Harris of Baylor University, Texas is advising on the cleaning protocol as well as the types of surfaces that can be used in this facility.  Lily’s Pad has also received donations for paint from Jennifer Marmor of CertaPro as well as furniture from Craig Scarpone of Transact. The search for flooring donations is underway with the help of Brad Bergen from Wholesale Floors.  Lorraine Tallman, the founder of Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels has donated the main playground piece as well as counseling for the children.  Laurie Dunny of Closet & Storage Concepts has offered to build the cubbies that will house the children’s personal items.  The Arizona College of Nursing will provide nursing students as volunteers who will supervise and interact with the children while in the play space. Local community involvement includes a generous donation from Tempe South Rotary and a grant from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community as well as many personal donations.   We are so grateful for this outpouring of support.  Lily’s Pad is still in need of sponsors for the buildout including air conditioning, electrical, plumbing to name a few. 

 

 It is the mission of all of us at Lily’s Pad to provide the cleanest possible environment for all autoimmune deficient children to gather and play together.  The attendance will be limited to a certain number of children at different play times thru the use of a reservation system.  It is our goal to  remove isolation for caregivers, parents and the children who are fighting these diseases and offer not just a place for the children to play, but also a place for parents to find rest.   We are connecting families and allowing them to enjoy the confidence that we understand their situation by providing the safest and cleanest environment for their children to play together.  Our play center is believed to be the first of its kind, catering to children undergoing outpatient treatments and spending most of their days confined to their homes because of their weakened immune state.   We know that Lily and countless other kids like her need somewhere to escape the reality of their diseases and just be kids again. Our hope is they can find that at “Lily’s Pad”!

 

You can read more about Lily’s Pad at:  www.lilyspadaz.org

 

 

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