Airmen from the 48th Rescue Squadron visited Tucson’s University Medical Center Sept. 10, handing out stuffed animals to the children of the pediatric ward.
The members of the 48th RQS volunteered in honor of Janie Fahrendorff, an 18-year-old patient who had passed away from cancer in July.
Before Janie passed away she asked to have stuffed animals donated to the children of the hospital in memory of her. Penny West, Desert Lightning News newspaper carrier, did just that. She went from squadron to squadron around base and asked if they could donate. Not only did she get donations, she had Airmen from the 48th donate their time as well.
Throughout the morning, the Airmen passed out stuffed animals to the individual children hospitalized at UMC.
“I could tell the children were very excited to have us there,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Atkins, 48th RQS Superintendent. “I enjoyed seeing the smiles on their faces.”
Ms. West was a friend of Janie. Both had met one another at Saguaro Canyon Church. Janie enjoyed spending time there as well as Erik Hite Family Park.
“Church was like her home. That’s where she enjoyed going,” West said. “That was where her friends were.”
Janie loved picking a stuffed animal from the box at the medical center. They provided her a sense of comfort when she needed it most.
“They comforted her; she cried into them, she held them, and she wanted every child to have one,” West said.
For more information, or to volunteer to pass out stuffed animals, please contact Sergeant Atkins at 228-0299 or Penny West at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to donate, please drop off your donation to the 48th RQS.