Angels Baseball catcher Logan O’Hoppe and infielder Nolan Schanuel showing a Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute patient one of the many virtual environments that the Starlight Virtual reality headset can take patients to as a distraction from hospitalization.

Angels Baseball have created memories that will last a lifetime for patients at the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, while also giving back to patients, their families and the community by presenting a $20,000 check to help program growth.

Angels Baseball, along with Major League Baseball (MLB), donated a brand-new Starlight virtual reality headset to the patients of the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute. Virtual reality has often been used as a tool in a children’s healthcare environment as it helps distract patients from being scared during treatments as well as helps rehabilitation with certain motion-enabled games.

At Miller Children’s & Women’s, Angels Baseball catcher Logan O’Hoppe and infielder Nolan Schanuel started off their visit by signing Ribbons of Hope cards filled with encouraging statements that with be shared in hospitalized patients at Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute. to the players also got into the action themselves, teaching patients how to use the new virtual reality system that they personally delivered. The virtual reality sets have different environments, such as being underwater surrounded by fish or relaxing on a beach, that patients can “visit” while receiving treatment.

“The patients love all of our activities, but they are especially excited when they know the Angels are coming to visit,” says Rita Goshert, director, Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program. “It makes such a difference in their hospital stay; and in turn that helps their families as well. We are so fortunate to have such a great partnership with the Angels, all their players truly engage with each of the patients.”

Additionally, Angels Baseball hosted a special night dedicated to the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute during Childhood Cancer Awareness month, this September. During the pregame ceremony, the Angels presented the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute care team with a $20,000 check to help raise funds for expanded treatment programs and research.

The Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute is not only heavily involved in research and clinical trials, but has many psychosocial support programs, such as the School Integration Program and Art Therapy, to ensure patients and families are able to cope with all aspects of childhood cancer.

“Atticus, one of our Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute patients, while of course is a fan of his Miller Children’s care team, is equally as big of a fan of the Angels,” says Yair Katz, chief executive, Miller Children’s & Women’s. “He was so excited to be a part of something bigger when he was asked to deliver the game ball, and the Angels gave him that. We also are grateful for some much-needed funding that will be used to enhance our programs. We deeply appreciate our partnership with Angels Baseball.”

Annie Santos (second from left), director, Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Institute, Yair Katz (fourth from right), chief executive, Miller Children’s & Women’s, and Atticus (third from left), Jonathan Jaques Cancer Institute patient, accept $20,000 donation from Angels Baseball that will help with programmatic growth.
Atticus, and his family get ready to make the special game ball delivery with Miller Children’s & Women’s mascot, Mille the Dolphin, before the Angels face off against the Guardians.