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Choco’s Gratitude Tour – #thxCHOC

choco-angelsAlmost 50 years ago, the good doctors, nurses and staff at CHOC Children’s took good care of me after an unfortunate tree-falling incident. Since then, I have been their biggest fan (and official mascot). I want to thank the hospital for everything it’s done for me and so many others since Orange County’s only children’s hospital opened its doors. So, for the next 50 weeks I will be embarking on a tour, visiting with some of the hospital’s physicians, nurses and staff; sharing the stories of inspiring former CHOC patients; and having a whole lot of fun. I will be posting the journal of my “gratitude tour” here.

Check back often, as I will be updating this page every week. Or, if you want to receive notifications of new posts, you can follow along via RSS or click here to subscribe.  Be sure to check out my Pinterest page for pictures of the cool CHOC stuff I’ve found while cleaning out my cave. (And, of course, I’ll be posting to InstagramFacebook and Twitter!)

THANK YOU!

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Join the Fun!

Do you have any old CHOC photos or stuff in your cave? Feel free to share your photos and stories to your favorite social site, just tag your photo #thxchoc.

Thank you, parents and families!

In this video, CHOC Children's physicians thank parents and families for entrusting them with the care of their children.

Thank you pet therapy dogs (and owners)!

CHOC's pack of pet therapy dogs -- and their generous owners -- give their time to bring smiles, encouragement and joy to patients and families.

Laboratory Services: Then and Now

Getting blood drawn is more pleasant now than it was in 1964, especially now that CHOC has one of the area's only pediatric-dedicated laboratories.

Inside CHOC's 1964 Time Capsule

Take a peek inside CHOC Children's 1964 time capsule, filled with items to commemorate the hospital's grand opening nearly 50 years ago.

A Bright Future: Amy's Story

Amy’s recent fourth birthday party held special significance. After all, her parents wondered if she’d ever see her first birthday, much less her fourth.

Urology: Then and Now

It’s been fascinating to watch specialties evolve since I first became pals with CHOC Children’s – and urology is no different.

Sing-a-long: The Choco Bear Song

Have you heard "The Choco Bear Song?" I know I'm not the most typical patient at a children's hospital, but I must have made an impact to have my own song!

The Evolution of Patient- and Family-Centered Care at CHOC

CHOC is committed to patient- and family-centered care, but much has evolved since 1964. In this video, CHOC's first patient reflects on those changes.

CHOC Children’s Campus: Then and Now

It’s been fascinating to watch how medicine has changed at CHOC in the last 50 years. But how the hospital’s campus has evolved since 1964 is just as cool.

A Bright Future: Bill's Story

Each and every day in his work as a hospital chaplain in Orange County, Bill Wells draws on his experience as a patient at CHOC Children’s decades ago.

Thank You, CHOC Nurses!

Nurses at CHOC are on the front line of care for patients, and their roles and responsibilities have changed dramatically through the years.

Neonatology: Then and Now

CHOC Children’s has always done a great job of treating premature babies, and over the last 50 years, I’ve seen a lot change in neonatology.

CHOC Now Serving Corona

With the recent opening of the CHOC Children’s Health Center in Corona, children in Corona and surrounding areas will have access to quality pediatric specialty care much closer to home.

A Bright Future: Amy's and Emily's Story

Sisters Amy and Emily believe they have two birthdays: the days they were born, and the days they were diagnosed with cancer.

Thank you, CHOC Volunteers!

Meet Betty Keith, a longtime CHOC volunteer of more than 30 years and one of about 1,100 generous people who give their time at CHOC.

Choco Bear's Evolving Style

CHOC Children’s and pediatric health care have changed so much since 1964. And I suppose that I have as well. Check out a gallery of all my looks through the years.

Thank you, Anaheim Ducks!

CHOC has been so lucky to have a long partnership with the Anaheim Ducks. This week, we celebrated that partnership during CHOC Night at the Honda Center.

Emergency Medicine: Then & Now

The Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC Children's Hospital opened a year ago this month, and it’s much different from where I first received care in 1964

Thank you, CHOC Doctors!

I'm still grateful for the CHOC docs who patched me up 50 years ago, and I still see one whom I met in 1964: Dr. Melville Singer, who is still here at CHOC.

A Bright Future: Pacer's Story

Pacer's first family meal didn't happen until age 4, after his parents traveled from Montana to Orange County for CHOC's help in teaching their son to eat.

Cardiology: Then and Now

So much has changed in the field of pediatric cardiology since I first visited CHOC in 1964. From diagnosis to treatment, the Institute today cares for children of all ages with a spectrum of cardiac conditions.

CHOC Gala Honors Ryan Seacrest Foundation

For its positive impact on children, the Ryan Seacrest Foundation received the Children's Champion Award at the recent CHOC Cherishes Children Gala.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is always so fun for me. I have so many valentines: All the patients, physicians and staff I've met at CHOC.

Meet CHOC’s first patient, Ken Spicer

Of all the people I’ve met since I first visited CHOC almost 50 years ago, Ken Spicer is one of my favorites. After all, he's CHOC's very first patient!

Oncology: Then and Now

Much has changed in oncology in the last 50 years. In the 1960s, childhood cancer survival rates were less than 20 percent. Today, they near 80 percent.

Video: Thank you, blood donors!

An important part of the CHOC Children's family is Blood and Donor Services, the department that helps collect blood products for our patients. Did you know that one pint of blood can save two lives? And your donation at CHOC goes directly to a child.

A bright future: Josh's story

Let’s learn about Josh, whose time at CHOC as a kid inspired him to go to medical school and become a doctor for young patients.

Video: Thank you for giving!

I am grateful for how CHOC has helped me in the last 50 years. But for this week's stop on my gratitude tour, I want to thank you for all the ways you give.

Neuroscience: Then & Now

When I fell out of that tree in 1964, special doctors called neurologists made sure my brain was OK. Much has changed in neuroscience since then.

CHOC at Mission: South OC’s best-kept secret

My furry friends down in south Orange County are lucky that CHOC at Mission is ready and waiting to care for young patients with any type of ailment, arbor-related or otherwise.

A bright future: Bryan’s story

Read the story of Bryan, whose time at CHOC as a child inspired a career change as an adult.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

As Thanksgiving approaches this week, I am feeling especially thankful that Orange County and neighboring areas have access to a premier children’s hospital like CHOC.

Video: The Bill Holmes Tower rocks!

Many cool things have happened at CHOC Children's since it opened in 1964, but the opening of the Bill Holmes Tower this year is at the top of my list.

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2014! I think it's going to be a bright year for us all. 2014 is especially important at CHOC Children's because this year marks the hospital's 50th anniversary!

Harley Ride makes holidays bright for CHOC patients

Happy holidays! The season will be much brighter for CHOC Children’s patients. Earlier this week, hordes of Harley riders descended upon the hospital to deliver truckloads of new toys for our patients.