The Josh and Friends Project made its first visit to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008. Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) students, along with other volunteers and VIPs, distributed approximately 100 Josh Kits to children in the hospital and read them a special book to help provide mental support and comfort to cope.

The Josh and Friends Project provides a "Josh" plush puppy and the book "I’ll Be O.K." to hospitalized children across the country. The Josh and Friends Project is helping transform anxious hospital stays for children into friendship-filled adventures to wellness. Josh and Friends was formed when two dads, Dr. Randy Lange and Doug Lesher, set out to alleviate stress and provide comfort to children going into the hospital, according to the Josh and Friends Web site, www.joshandfriends.com.

Anyone can help The Josh and Friends Project too, by simply making a tax deductable donation. Each Josh Kit costs $40. Just make a check out to "WesternU- SCAVMA" and put "Josh & Friends" on the memo line. Submit it to Lauren Higgins in the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Western University

College of Veterinary Medicine

Josh and Friends Project

Attn: Lauren Higgins

309 E. Second St.

Pomona, CA 91766-1854 

For more information contact Lauren at LHiggins@westernu.edu.

Photo information clockwise from top left: CVM students Kim Bridges and Andrew Ayre talk with an LLUCH patient; CVM student Alyson Tani reads to a patient; CVM student Becky Sevy watches an LLUCH patient open a Josh Kit; CVM student Jessica DeAcetis reads to a patient.