Easter 2023 at Miller Children's and Women's Hospital Long Beach
Clarissa Ruelas (right) and patient Kataleya Suazo (left) give a thumbs up next to the Easter bunny and Kataleya’s gift basket at the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute.

The Easter Bunny hopped into the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach to spread some springtime joy to pediatric cancer and blood disorder patients and their families by gifting over 140 donated Easter baskets to patients. Each patient and their family took a picture with the Easter Bunny, with their large Easter baskets to commemorate the holiday.

“We are so thankful to the donors who put together these overflowing gift baskets for the patients,” said Clarissa Ruelas, Child Life Assistant, Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute, Miller Children’s & Women’s. “The patients are going through so much with treatment, so to be able to bring some normalcy to their hospital experience through developmental and age-appropriate gift baskets, we’re really lifting their spirits.” 

Child Life specialists hand delivered large Easter baskets filled with gifts with developmental and age-appropriate hidden treasures for the patients to find in their baskets with glee.

The Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program has provided more than 50 years of patient and family-centered care to patients, offering developmental, educational, and emotional support. As a way of providing support to patients and their families during the holidays, like Easter, the Child Life Program has brought the fun of Easter to patients receiving care while having an extended hospitalization at the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute.

“To see her energy lifted really means the world to me.” said Ashly Marie Suazo, mother of patient Kataleya Suazo who received a gift basket. “The Child Life team at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital is amazing and I am so thankful to them for bringing a big smile to my daughter’s face.”