OAKLAND _ There have been hundreds of stories like Hudson Davis at Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, many with happy endings like Hudson's and others that aren't.
But every success underscores the acute need to preserve and improve the financially challenged facility, and part of the Davis family's willingness to tell the heartwrenching story of their 12-year-old son was to publicize the wonderful work of the hospital but also point up the ongoing quest for public support.
``If you're a parent, hopefully you never need the services of that hospital,'' said Greg Davis, Hudson's father. ``But believe me, if you do, you want it to be at its very best. The people there are phenomenal, but all you have to do is walk around to recognize that there are needs.''
For example, the staff in the psychology oncology department (POP) had been getting paid through a family foundation but funds ran out in June. Families such as the Davises who were in the middle of their child's treatment process at Children's Hospital Oakland had to scramble to raise enough money to keep it going. For now, the department is still operating but it's a continuing challenge.
``The minute you go to oncology, the counselors play such a pivotal role because they embrace everybody in the family,'' said Ellen Davis, Hudson's mother. ``Even our 8-year-old daughter (Molly) got counseling. Greg got counseling. I got counseling. They just wrap their arms around you without judgment, and the work they do is unbelievable.
``With what we have gone through with Hudson, we just wanted to tell the world the hardships the psychology and counseling department is operating under, and let them know what an important piece of the treatment it really is. As a family, they gave us our first sense of balance.''
There are a few ways to donate to the Children's Hospital psychology division. Checks can be mailed in care of the POP program at 2201 Broadway Suite 600, Oakland, 94612 or utilize the donation link at www.chofoundation.org/pop. For additional information, call (510) 428-3814.