A magical connection

Texas Children’s, Disney and sports

For patients, going to the hospital is not a fun experience. Between the medical reason that brings them in to the disruption of their everyday lives, its rare that anyone looks back at their time in the hospital positively.

I took a break from the world last week and witnessed hospital living firsthand. My wife (who was 8 months pregnant at the time) checked into Texas Children's Pavilion for Women with high blood pressure. This kicked off a several day journey which included induction, a lot of bleeding, an emergency C-section, and luckily the birth of our first child. There were times during this period when I felt completely overwhelmed and there were moments of fear where I was certain the worst might happen. But looking back, besides the real hero (my wife!), I have to give all of my gratitude to the hospital staff for their hard work and professionalism; and strangely enough, to Disney. Yes, I said Disney…

Back in 2018, Disney announced a five-year plan to commit $100M in resources to help reimagine the patient and family experience in children's hospitals and Texas Children's is the guinea pig for this initiative. When they set their plan into motion their aim was clear; help families who have a child facing serious illness. Now, from the description I gave above that is not really what we went through. In terms of hospital time we were in and out relatively quickly and though our procedure was scary, it was really a routine one. But even though I only got a small taste of Disney's presence, I was thankful they were there.

When my wife and I were panicking about what would happen next, a nurse came into the room wearing a Disney badge and before we knew it, we found ourselves discussing their favorite movie characters and why they chose the badge they did. We even learned that the staff is encouraged to trade badges, and from the sounds off it Princess Tiana is in high demand. When things finally calmed down and my wife was sleeping, I got a chance to catch up on the NBA playoffs. I will always have the memory of holding my child and sharing our first sports moment together while catching the recap of the Raptors winning the championship on (Disney owned) ESPN. These things seem so small, but when you are anxious and scared and in a strange place, it's the small comforts that ground you and help you return to a state of normalcy.

So what about those families whom Disney is targeting? What are Disney's benefits for them? Needless to say it goes well beyond small comforts. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Personal – Room Décor, Hospital Gowns, & Care Packages; all customized to the choice of the patient. And yes sports fans, that appears to include ESPN and sports packages as well.
  • Public Areas – Murals, Magic windows, and Magic portals; all interactive with games and apps designed to allow children a break from their rooms and a glimpse into the magical Disney universe.
  • Movies and Shows – A mobile movie theater and DisneyNow apps; giving families access to the library of Disney owned media.
  • Staff Engagement – The badges I mentioned earlier along with personalized training events with a focus on care, compassion, & comfort.

I missed the announcement of this initiative back in 2018 but was pleasantly surprised to hear about it now. I only caught a portion of the benefits myself in my short stay and am obviously hopeful I never get a chance to fully experience the rest. But with that being said I am extremely grateful it exists. It is truly amazing that a kid going into surgery has access to their heroes on demand to help calm them and give them words of encouragement. Because of the amazing Texas Children's staff and their partnership with Disney, kids who face difficult situations might be able to look back on them one day and actually have happy memories sprinkled in.

Before I return back to the busy world of work and sports (and now fatherhood), I want to take a moment to applaud all those involved in this initiative. Though it was only small gestures for me I truly thank you for your hard work. I know that the families who are unfortunate enough to need full access to these resources are extremely grateful for the effort you have put forth. Please keep up the great work!

For anyone looking to learn more please follow up here: https://www.texaschildrens.org/departments/disney-team-heroes


ART BY JESUS RODRIGUEZ

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

Hey Nerds!

Today is Thursday and we're not done yet, this week isn't over there's still a chance to kick this week's butt.

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

If you don't like crawfish, all you can eat specials or charity then maybe this isn't for you, because it's an ALL YOU CAN EAT Crawfish boil, that's right! It's the Light of the Phoenix Charity All You Can Eat Crawfish Boil, and there's stuff for the kids to do too while you grub a dub dub. $25 buys your ticket now but $30 gets you in. This is the kind of thing I live for, doing a good deed and eating a bunch of food as you do it. #NerdsUnite

THE STREAMING WARS

Some news broke earlier this week, Netflix announced Spider Man: Into the Spider-verse is coming June 26, great movie, I'm pumped people need to be seeing this if they haven't and if they have they need to be seeing it again. It did win an Oscar. Also Disney fired some shots this week announcing that when Disney+ goes live their content will be off of Netflix, so the only place to get Disney stuff will be at Disney+. There were initially talks that this would be a gradual fade out and move over because of contracts and what not, but now that all the smoke has cleared options have been declined or in some cases exercised and now there is no "us" when it comes to Netflix and Disney. Disney+ will be the closely watched case study of, can these separate streaming services survive? Also the slow, eventual death of Hulu has been initiated as the last two major shareholders of Hulu (Comcast and Disney) have made an agreement that sometime in the next five years there will be a buyout order from Disney to either sell to a third party or sell to Disney, must be weird working there, am I right?

SPEAKING OF

DC Streaming actually was airing television commercials the past few weeks advertising tomorrow's season finale of Doom Patrol on the app. I like seeing them be aggressive on this and try and break into the psyche of streaming customers by airing television ads because honestly, that's who streams if that makes any sense. Also on the comics front, at the retailer summit a lot of people walked away from DC's events with positive feedback for once, they were actually happy with DC, which for those who don't know… hasn't been the case lately. Overall this is a good bit of positive momentum building up for DC so the real question is, what happens next?

I SAW SOME PEOPLE REQUEST MORE ANNE

I got excited, one of my favorite writers growing up was a lady named Anne McCaffrey and she wrote some really great stuff. Truly awesome world building, big universes, big stories and great powerful women in sci fi and fantasy which both genres sorely needed. The reality is none of her series has ever moved into production seriously as far as I have ever heard and that's disappointing to say the least, as she is truly one of the more prolific writers with several different book series under her belt before she passed. She did truly great work and honestly it's worth checking out and enjoying the books and just hoping one day someone builds up enough capital and creativity to give her works a try because if done right, they'd be amazing.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

So recently I've been working strictly as a freelance creative and honestly there are some positives and some negatives to the whole experience. The cool stuff is making my own schedule and being able to truly have the freedom to pursue creative ventures as they come up and be able to try and create some real momentum in the various things I like to pursue. The frustrating part is that as I step into this process money is tight, there's not a lot else to complain about but man it would be great if everything wasn't so hold your breath and hope for the best, so if you got a minute, do me a favor go to Side Hustle Ts and grab one of the shirts. I don't care which one, just get one and enjoy it, it would help me out tremendously and I do give some of the proceeds to charity.

I'm going to jump out and wish you guys a great Thursday and remind everyone to be kind to each other and try a little harder to have a great day! I'm coming back Friday and we'll be bringing more good times your way. Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help fight cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio or support our Patreon Page. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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