Better2getherRVA
S.M.I.L.E. (Students Making It a Little Easier)

S.M.I.L.E. (Students Making It a Little Easier)

SMILE is a VCU School of Medicine program designed to pair medical students (big buddies) with pediatric patients (little buddies) being treated at VCU Healthsystem. The big buddy serves as friend and mentor to their little buddy, providing a welcome distraction during long days of doctors appointments or hospital stays.

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Big Shots – Meet Blake!

Big Shots – Meet Blake!

Likes: Trains, cars, playing at a playground, snuggling with his sister, building with Legos, watching movies, taking a bath, splashing in the pool and trips to Target
Favorite Animal: his bunny rabbit that he sleeps with at night
Dislikes: pork chops, hospital visits, settling down at bedtime, waiting patiently for

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Big Shots – Meet Benjamin!

Big Shots – Meet Benjamin!

Likes: Reading, playing with friends, music
Favorite Animal: Zebra (this is new, but I asked him)
Dislikes: trying new foods, tags in his clothes, undue attention
Hospitalizations: NICU at birth 60 days, 2 admission for respiratory virus
Clinics Visited: Pulmonology, Allergy & Immunology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Otolaryngology, Rheumatology, Infectious Disease, Cardiology,

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Big Shots – Meet Allie!

Big Shots – Meet Allie!

Likes: more like LOVES <3 school, PJ MASK, music, YouTube, watermelon, lacrosse, and Randolf Macon
Favorite Animal: (stuffed) her orange Panda Petey Bear and Gekko from PJ Mask (real) pandas and elephants
Dislikes: eating, chewing, trying new foods, being told no
Hospitalizations: NICU in Greensboro, NC at Moses Cone Women’s

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Big Shots – Meet Dylan!

Big Shots – Meet Dylan!

Likes: Cars, trucks and trains – basically anything with wheels! Music – he loves to sing and attempts to play several musical instruments. Being outside. Soccer is his sport. Foods vary a lot but right now, pancakes, pizza, cake, yogurt, and chicken “muggets”.
Favorite Animal: Dogs – he loves his Great

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Big Shots – Meet Paige!

Big Shots – Meet Paige!

Likes: Preschool, playgrounds, art projects, decorating and musical instruments
Favorite Animal: Teddy Bear
Dislikes: Riding in bed through the hospital halls without Mom and Dad
Hospitalizations: NICU Henrico Doctors 117 days & NICU VCU 201 days
Clinics Visited: Pulmonology, ENT, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Ophthalmology, Feeding Clinic, Neonatal Continuing Care Program
Therapies

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Support Group

Support Group

Supported adults allow for better supported children with illness.
Better2gether identifies the need for adult family members of children with medically complex illnesses to share their experiences with one another in a safe and comfortable environment. We are working to partner with a local health system in the establishment of

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Mentor Support

Mentor Support

Caring for a medically complex child can be difficult and isolating, and having contact with someone who understands this road can be a relief. Better2gether RVA’s Mentor Support Program connects families further along in their journey supporting a medically complex child with the parents or caregiver of a

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