Maya Rain Arroyo came to Rush when she was just 5 years old after an accident caused her to almost lose her hip and leg. Monica Kogan, MD, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Rush, operated on her, saving both. During her recovery, Maya worked closely with child life specialist Ginger Manzella, who helped comfort her with a special friend named Dr. Bear. “Ginger made me feel better because she brought Dr. Bear,” Maya says.
Seeing kids at Rush who couldn’t leave the hospital was an unforgettable experience for Maya, who is now 8. “To me, that meant they needed friends to play with and would like some dolls and toys to make friends with,” Maya explained. “Me and my friends were thinking about how we could help Rush … and help the kids. They’ve got to have a friend.”
So Maya and her friends decided to raise money for Rush’s Child Life Program. Last year they began selling polished rocks, and Maya sold her own art that she displayed in a local coffee shop in her Pilsen neighborhood. They’ve raised approximately $300.