July 22, 2011
News Office: Kate Vidinsky (415) 502-6397
"You can do it!" is the famous line Emmy-nominated actor Rob Schneider has uttered in more than five hit movies, but it took on a new significance when the comedian visited patients at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital on Wednesday.
Schneider spoke with patients and parents both in the hospital playroom and at the bedside, taking photographs and signing "You can do it" posters while warmly chatting about making movies, favorite comedians and his often co-star Adam Sandler.
"I'm actually hugging Rob Schneider right now!" said Felicity, 12, as she smiled and straightened her Justin Bieber T-shirt for a photo. "I watch all your movies."
Patient Nathan Lee, who was also celebrating his 11th birthday, won a life-sized pony which was raffled by Wells Fargo.
While Schneider was the Hollywood celebrity on hand at the visit, the true star was his close friend Nancy Gamble, who was treated at UCSF Medical Center for Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APML). Gamble, who is now in remission, has pledged $1 million to the adult Hematopoietic Malignancies (Heme) program and hopes to strengthen her relationship with the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and its pediatric leukemia care.
Following their visit with the young patients, pediatric cancer specialists Dr. Mignon Loh and Dr. Katherine Matthay showed Gamble and Schneider around several research labs including that of Dr. Jennifer Puck, a pioneering researcher in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Gamble also returned to the oncology ward where she was treated, embracing doctors and nurses and addressing patients with a message of hope.
"APML 15 years ago was a death sentence," said Gamble. "But thanks to all of the research and prayers I am standing here and forever indebted to UCSF and all you do. Dr. [Lloyd] Damon gave me hope when mine was gone. Coming to UCSF for me was the best decision I ever made. You truly can do it."
About UCSF Medical Center
UCSF Medical Center consistently ranks as one of the top 10 hospitals in the United States. Recognized for innovative treatments, advanced technology, collaboration among health care professionals and scientists, and a highly compassionate patient care team, UCSF Medical Center serves as the academic medical center of the University of California, San Francisco. The medical center's nationally preeminent programs include children's health, the brain and nervous system, organ transplantation, women's health and cancer. It operates as a self-supporting enterprise within UCSF and generates its own revenues to cover the operating costs of providing patient care.
About UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital creates an environment where children and their families find compassionate care at the forefront of scientific discovery, with more than 150 experts in 50 medical specialties serving patients throughout Northern California and beyond. The hospital admits about 5,000 children each year, including 2,000 babies born in the hospital. For more information, visit www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org.
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