About our Founder
My name is Jen Rubino and I am the founder of Cards for Hospitalized Kids(CFHK). My inspiration for founding CFHK comes from my own experiences as "hospitalized kid", which began in 2006, when I was 11. At the time, I was a competitive gymnast training 6 days a week. I visited the doctor after experiencing pain, which I assumed was from an injury. However, my life changed instantly when I was diagnosed with a connective tissue and bone disease.
I had to adjust to surgeries, treatments, pain and hospitals being a regular part of my life. In the years since, I have undergone 20+ surgeries. My experiences in the hospital have shown me how difficult it is to be a child or teen who is hospitalized and/or seriously ill. Hospitalized kids often feel forgotten, sad, lonely and isolated. They also miss out on many of the little things in life that most children take for granted like having lunch with friends at school or having sleepovers.
There was one specific hospital stay that was very difficult for me. It was in February 2011, and I was recovering from a major surgery where doctors had to break my hip in 5 places and then completely re-construct & re-position it. I was in extreme pain, had lost a lot of blood and not doing well. I so badly just wanted to go to school, hang out with friends and be a normal kid. During that very difficult time, I received a handmade card from a hospital volunteer that really brightened my day; I founded CFHK to do that for other kids.
As the founder of CFHK, I am able to combine my own experience as a patient and my desire to help others in a way that allows me to help children across America who are facing what I've faced. I am amazed and inspired by all of the amazing individuals & groups across the USA, and world, that send in cards to us. Together, we are impacting thousands of hospitalized kids.
Lifting others up through CFHK has allowed me to lift myself up as well and, chronic illness or not, I know it will be the same for everyone who gets involved with CFHK.
*Jen is now 21, and a student at Georgetown University in D.C. She continues to oversee CFHK operations.