The Live2Give campaign is a special way to spread happiness and give sick kids the determination to fight through their illness. It was created by nine-year-olds Tyler Martinez, who also volunteers for the Share-A-Pet program, and friend Carlee Goldberg.
In January 2007, when Tyler Martinez was seven years old, he spent several months in critical care at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Chris Evert Children’s Hospital. After falling critically ill overnight, Tyler was diagnosed with Short Term Bowel Syndrome and spent the next four months in the PICU and pediatric units undergoing several major surgeries, treatments, and recoveries.
Being hospitalized turned out to be a life changing experience for Tyler. While treatment and surgery was able to help Tyler physically, it was the support he received from the pediatric teams and the therapy pets that helped him emotionally. He realized how important it was for other sick patients to be given the same care and treatment. Once Tyler was discharged from Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, he made it a personal mission to find ways to give back to the PICU and pediatric units.
Tyler loved the visits from the Therapy Dogs, and decided that when he got better, he would return to visit other sick kids with his own Therapy Dog. After he was discharged from Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, he immediately became a volunteer for Share-A-Pet. This was just the beginning for Tyler – his next big mission was the birth of the Live2Give campaign.
Tyler and Carlee, a devoted friend who often visited him at the hospital, created the Live2Give crusade. Live2Give not only touches the lives of patients at the hospital but the staff and medical team as well. On every visit, Tyler and Carlee bring toys, cookies and gifts in a little red wagon to all patients and staff members in the pediatric units at Chris Evert Children’s Hospital. Tyler and Carlee are currently raising money for new TVs and DVD players through bake sales and other fundraisers.
Tyler is a great role model and an advocate for sick children, and has become an inspiration to the staff and patients at Chris Evert Children’s Hospital. In the midst of his own pain, Tyler spent time developing special bonds with other kids, his “favorite doctor,” Dr. Puglisi, nurses, and therapy dogs. These ties that Tyler has made will last far longer than his stay at Chris Evert Children’s Hospital.
For more information, or to donate or volunteer to the Live2Give Campaign, please contact Shannon Martinez.