ICPCN’s newest Global Ambassador visits George Mark Children’s House

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On Sunday, January 3, 2016, Latin American actor, Roberto Manrique visited George Mark Children’s House. Roberto Manrique is not just a successful Latin American actor…he is the newly appointed global ambassador for the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) and we were honoured to show him around our home. Located in Northern California, George Mark Children’s House is the first freestanding paediatric palliative care facility in the United States and has been a leader in paediatric palliative care since our founding in 2004.

Roberto believes that visiting palliative care facilities is essential in aiding him in shifting the consciousness of those who are not familiar with palliative care or the very special children and families that we serve. As he and two friends toured through the house, it became clear that Roberto was not just visiting and seeing the house and the grounds, but he was truly feeling the energy present in every space. You could see his interest and appreciation as he entered our huge playroom, the warm and welcoming dining area and the brightly painted children’s rooms, each decorated in their own unique theme.

Roberto then immersed himself in our palliative aquatics spa as much he could without getting in the water. He was delighted at the work of our Palliative Aquatics Director, Sheila Pyatt, as she spent time in the spa with one of our children who cannot walk nor talk. As Roberto watched Sheila and the child working together, much to the delight of all of us, the child, who oftentimes shows very little emotion, smiled broadly at Roberto. You could see the tears well up in Roberto’s eyes.

Upon returning to Bogota, Roberto told us that “the visit to the house was not only beautiful, but also very inspiring and useful to understand in a better and more profound way what Palliative Care means, the different stages it helps and the incredible impact it can have in a family that is going through such a hard experience.”

We are so inspired by Roberto’s interest in palliative care and his commitment to sharing the importance of this work with others throughout the world. Thank you, Roberto. We know that you will be a wonderful ambassador.

To find out more about George Mark Children’s House, please visit their website or make contact with Melissa Heller on 510.346.1274 or email her at mheller@georgemark.org or Patti Maloney at pmaloney@georgemark.org

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