Gulfstream Jockeys Visit Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
Sep 17, 2018
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– Jockeys and staff from Gulfstream Park visited children at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in nearby Hollywood Monday afternoon.
Jockeys visited children in the play room before visiting children and parents in individual rooms. The jockeys brought coloring books, stuffed animals, backpacks, bracelets and goggles. Children also took pictures wearing jockey silks.
Jockeys attended included Tyler Gaffalione, C.C. Lopez, Carlos Montalvo, Luca Panici and Raul Mena.
“It means so much to me to be able to give just a small portion of my day to visit with the kids,” Panici said.
“It’s truly a humbling experience,” Gaffalione said. “I’ve been coming for the last four years. It makes you realize how blessed we are.”
“It’s like a wake-up call to have such a small period of time with these kids,” Montalvo said. “They’re in a lot of pain, and some are so young they do not even understand why they are here. To see what their families and friends have to go through is a lot. For us to be able to come and visit it means a lot from the bottom of our hearts.”
Shannon Bajwa, a Child Life Specialist at Joe DiMaggio, said: “It means a lot to the patients. Sometimes they’re here for a long time and they don’t have much to look forward to, so when we have visitors like this it really gets them out of their rooms and gets them motivated and helps brighten the day. Not only do the patients enjoy seeing the jockeys, but the parents as well. They really appreciate the joy it brings to the kids.”
Joe DiMaggio Children Hospital is recognized as a leader in the treatment of complex and critical medical conditions. For more information on Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital visit https://www.jdch.com/