If there’s one thing 15-year-old Naperville resident Rachel Boudeman knows, it’s the power of a cute and colorful bandage.
When Rachel was just two years old, she underwent surgery on Christmas Eve at Northwestern Medicine Central Dupage Hospital in Winfield to remove a large tumor from her abdomen and pelvis. Despite it being an anxious experience, one positive aspect of her stay was the Band-Aid Binder.
It’s a big scrapbook that young patients can flip through to choose their own Band-Aid after a procedure such as a blood draw, insulin shot or removal of an IV. The binder is full of bandage options that include popular characters, catch phrases, and a variety of colors. Enough to provide a distraction to brighten up a child’s hospital visit.
“Kids don’t get to make a lot of choices while in the hospital,” said Dora Castro-Ahillen, child life services program manager at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital. “Allowing children to pick out a Band-Aid featuring their favorite character or design gives them some control during what can be a scary situation.”
Holiday Band Aid Bash
For the past six years, Rachel and her family have been hosting a yearly holiday “Band-Aid Bash” party. Invitees are encouraged to bring boxes of fun Band-Aids and a toy to donate to the hospital. It’s Rachel’s way of giving back – and this year, not even COVID-19 could stop the tradition.
“I started Band-Aids with Heart seven years ago because my wish was always to give back the happiness I felt when I was in the hospital over Christmas years ago,” Rachel said. “When I was at the hospital, I hated getting IV’s, and the only thing that made me happy was picking out a cool band-aid and getting presents from the hospital Santa.”
Tradition Lives On
Not even COVID-19 could stop Rachel’s annual tradition. This year, Rachel and her mom, Adri, held a socially distanced Band-Aid Bash on their driveway for friends and family to drop off donations. In addition to toys and over $500 worth of gift cards, they collected more band-aids this year than ever before. All of the donations will go to pediatric patients at the hospital.
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