A simple poem from a father to his daughter during her stay at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital can now comfort all hospitalized kids, especially those whose families can’t visit.
Graydon Head & Ritchey attorney Jack Greiner wroteImagine When You’re Feeling Better for his daughter, Ellie, when she was hospitalized in 2004. A few years later, Greiner was selected for Leadership Cincinnati, a Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber program that brings local leaders together in a variety of partnerships with community service organizations.

One nonprofit group that Greiner’s Leadership Cincinnati class met with was Josh Cares. It was founded in 2005 in memory of Josh Helfrich, a Northern Kentucky 10-year-old who died at Children’s Hospital after being struck by a car. His family took comfort in the fact that Josh knew he was loved every day of his life, and they started the foundation in hopes of making sure all hospitalized children feel such love.

The Leadership Cincinnati members wondered if Greiner’s poem could benefit Josh Cares. “Imagine no doctors and nurses; imagine no pills and no pains; imagine a summer of nothing, but cookouts and picnics and games!” reads one passage in the poem.

They decided to publish a book based on the poem, donating proceeds to the foundation, which funds four, full-time fellows who comfort and play with hospitalized kids who are alone. A Josh Cares board member, Laura Kujawa from the Lindner Center of Hope, illustrated the book. As Greiner read his poem, Kujawa says, “I kept visualizing all these little children doing all this fun stuff that he had in there.”

Such images are helpful to a child’s recovery, Greiner says. Parents of hospitalized kids must address the reality of their child’s sickness or injury, he says, but “There’s nothing wrong with saying ‘Let’s visualize how I’m going to get better,’ and give them something to really want to get better for, whatever it is.”

The book, which also has space for kids to write and draw, is for sale in the gift shops of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Columbus’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and The Children’s Hospital in Denver, as well as Joseph Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion. Cost: $8.95. Proceeds support Josh Cares.