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Sharks Visit Pediatrics Unit At VMC

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
For most people, hospitals are a pretty intimidating place. But for young patients, it can be even more of a terrifying experience. It’s with this in mind that a group of Sharks players and their significant others decided to visit the Valley Medical Center’s (VMC) Pediatric Unit after practice on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Dan Boyle, his wife Amber, Kent Huskins, his fiancé Bri, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, his girlfriend Martine, Joe Pavelski and Jody Shelley were all on hand to meet with the kids currently under care. The group walked from room to room, visiting with patients, taking pictures, signing autographs and even passing out candy.

“These children are bored, hurting, or scared,” Sue Kehl, Pediatric Nurse Manager said. “When they see Sharks players—who they see on TV—in person, it’s a pretty special thing for them. And for the players to take time out of their busy day…it’s just so impressive and shows the kind of character they posses.”

In addition to the hospital visit, the Sharks players and wives/girlfriends also presented the VMC Foundation with a $17,000 check, raised through the “Favorite Things” Basket Fundraiser.

With support from the Sharks Foundation, the ladies created a basket that contained some of their significant other’s favorite things, including movies, game consoles, music, food, gift certificates, autographed items and more. The baskets were then auctioned off over the course of several games during the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

To the wives and girlfriends of the players, this was an opportunity to give back to the community that has provided endless support for the team.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to make a difference in the community,” Boyle’s wife Amber said. “To me, Dan is my husband. But to so many other people, especially young children, he’s someone that they really look up to. I think it’s great for us to be able to give back to such a great organization like the VMC in any way we can.”

The $17,000 will help pay for the purchase of new televisions for the patient rooms in the Pediatric Unit. The current models are over a decade old, and are not compatible with DVD players. Hopefully in the near future, the patients will also be able to watch Sharks games in their rooms.

From toddlers to teenagers, the job of VMC’s pediatric staff is to fight injury and disease while keeping their patients calm and happy during their stay.

“Sometimes the biggest challenge is helping these kids overcome their fear of being in a hospital,” said VMC Foundation Executive Director Chris Wilder. “A happy kid is a well kid – so giving them the opportunity to watch a movie or a Sharks game actually makes the jobs of our doctors and nurses a lot easier.”

Sharks fans wishing to support Valley Medical Center are encouraged to visit the VMC Foundation website at, or call 408-885-5299. The VMC Foundation raises funds to support programs and services of the entire Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System.

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