$25K Donated to Fund Unique Space for Teen and Young Adult Patients at the Hospital
Wilmington, DE – Today, Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation (ARVF) joined Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in celebrating the opening of the new Teen Lounge – a special space located in the hospital’s clubhouse for teenage and young adult patients that features age-appropriate activities and amenities.
The Teen Lounge was funded by a $25,000 gift from ARVF, an organization that provides a variety of Victorious 4 Teens programs to hospitalized teens and young adults battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. ARVF was founded by the DiNatale family in memory of their daughter Alicia Rose, who was diagnosed and treated for a rare-form of cancer and endured a 13-month battle before her passing at the young age of 16.
“The Teen Lounge gives young adults a space that is uniquely their own – a haven to explore interests, try new activities, cultivate hobbies and hone skills during their stay at the hospital, however long or brief,” said Gisele DiNatale, co-founder of ARVF. “During Alicia’s treatments and procedures, she was disappointed that there were not a lot of ‘grown up’ things to keep her occupied. Keeping her experiences in mind, we were inspired to bring a special space to children’s hospitals around the country, designed specifically for teen patients to enjoy.”
Photo: Representatives from the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation, attended the recent Teen Lounge opening at Nemours Children’s Hospital. Pictured (left to right): Bridget Murray, ARVF Program Coordinator; Maria Bye, ARVF Board Member; Gary Strain, ARVF Board Member; Gisele & Mario DiNatale, ARVF Co-Founders; James Burrow, Nemours Administrator of Patient and Family Services; Jennifer Sciolla, Nemours Director of Child Life; Kathy Mignone, ARVF Volunteer.
The opening of the Teen Lounge at Nemours marks the 65th Teen Lounge location funded by ARVF across the country. The lounge is housed within the hospital’s newly opened clubhouse – a beautiful, spacious area for young patients and their families to escape and where children are encouraged to play, create, imagine and just be kids. The center features special areas including a CCTV studio, a kitchen, a dramatic play space and a sensory room for children who have individual developmental needs, such as autism. Run by the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy team at the hospital, the clubhouse is open 24 hours a day, seven days week and was made possible by local donors, including ARVF, who contributed nearly $3 million to make the clubhouse vision a reality.
“The clubhouse is a place to step away from the stress of clinical care,” says Jennifer Sciolla, Director of Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy at Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children. “We greatly appreciate the support of the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation, which provided critical momentum to make this project a success.”
ARVF has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Nemours. In 2004, ARVF donated enhancements – a TV, DVD player and computers – to the existing teen lounge space at the hospital. Additionally, ARVF has distributed more than 250 teen kits and bandana pillows to teen and young adult patients at Nemours since 2005. ARVF has also supported the Nemours’ Annual Prom since 2014 with financial contributions totaling $14,000. Finally, Nemours was part of the original pilot program for Alicia’s Art Cart – a program funded by ARVF and A.C. Moore that brings mobile carts fully stocked with various arts and craft tools and supplies to hospitals and medical facilities treating teen and young adult patients. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children was the second hospital across the country to receive Alicia’s Art Cart in 2017 and Nemours duPont Pediatrics located in Deptford, NJ received Alicia’s Art Cart in 2018. ARVF has also provided funding to ensure that the carts in both locations are kept fully stocked for patients.
“We are grateful to have cultivated such a strong relationship with Nemours over the years,” continued DiNatale. “Nemours is one of the only hospitals across the nation who have benefitted from all five areas of our mission fulfillment – Teen Lounges, Teen Lounge Enhancements, Teen Activities, Teen Kits/Bandana Pillows and Alicia’s Art Cart. Our hope is that this relationship will continue to grow and that our Victorious 4 Teens programs will make patients’ time at Nemours a surprisingly good experience.”
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About Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation:
Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation (ARVF, Corp.) is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization founded in 2002. ARVF is dedicated in providing age-appropriate Victorious 4 Teens programs, for hospitalized teens and young adults, battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Since ARVF’s inception, over $2.5 million has been dedicated to Victorious 4 Teens programs, including funding 65 Teen Lounges in 38 states, distributing over 2,500 Teen Kits & Bandana Pillows annually to hospitalized teens and young adults across the country. The latest program – Alicia’s Art Cart – has been provided and fully funded to over 22 pediatric locations. For more information about ARVF and how you can help hospitalized teens, visit www.victoriousfoundation.org.
About Nemours, the Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children and The Nemours Foundation:
Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the two free-standing children’s hospitals: the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in five states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens, KidsHealth.org, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect. Nemours ReadingBrightstart.org is a program dedicated to preventing reading failure in young children, grounded in Nemours’ understanding that child health and learning are inextricably linked, and that reading level is a strong predictor of adult health.
Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.