Smiles from Sarah Healing Children with Play

Smiles from Sarah was created to honor Sarah Catherine Fyock – and her sassy, playful, and generous spirit – as she faced numerous health challenges and hospital stays until she passed in 2022 at age 17.

In her memory, we strive to bring smiles and healing to children by expanding the impact and reach of child life programs and therapeutic play in hospitals. Therapeutic play serves a vital function in children’s medical care, allowing child life specialists to give children tools to develop, cope, and communicate when confronted with illness, injury, or disability. It can be the bandage to bind a broken spirit or the pill to alleviate anxiety and pain.

Contributions to date have allowed us to provide both direct funding in support of our mission and nearly 1,000 therapeutic play kits to major hospital centers, including Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Children’s National Hospital of Washington, DC. We are proud of what we have accomplished together thus far and look forward to the next chapter as we continue this vital work.

Smiles from Sarah Fyock

Sarah was born with a rare form of congenital muscular dystrophy and received a lifesaving heart transplant at age four. She and her family spent nearly a year in the hospital with frequent visits and procedures throughout her life. Sarah spent long periods away from home, school, friends, dogs, and her much-loved big brother.

While she had a skilled and compassionate medical team, a hospital can be a strange, scary, and lonely place. Fortunately, her team included child life specialists who transformed this foreign world into a safe playground, helping her to smile when she needed it the most.

Through therapeutic play, Sarah bravely faced her medical treatments and procedures. Coming to her room to stay and play made the difference between a good and bad day. Building eruptive Play-Doh volcanos gave voice to Sarah’s fear and frustration. Hands-on art projects to decorate her hospital room brought the comforts of home. Spa time offered relaxation, baking gave rise to courage, music, and singing replaced tears, and games provided a much-needed distraction. Through these activities, Sarah developed age-appropriate skills to process her emotions, direct her care, share her voice, and advocate for her needs. She also developed the spirit and resilience to navigate the hospital’s challenges.

Join us for our

First Annual
Sip & Smile

Smiles from Sarah Fyock

Saturday, October 21, 2023

7-10 pm

Deloitte Observation Deck

1919 N. Lynn Street, Rosslyn, Virginia

Can’t attend? Make a donation to support our cause

Event Details:

Open bar, hors d’oeuvres & desserts

Raffle & silent auction

Casual party attire

$100 per person

Thank you to our sponsors

Deloitte  |  McGuireWoods

Contact us for corporate sponsorship opportunities.

Smiles from Sarah is a 501(c)(3) fiscally sponsored CORE Cause by the CORE Foundation.