Uplifting thousands of hospitalized kids

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

Cards for Hospitalized Kids
Jen says she is amazed and inspired by all of the individuals and groups across the USA and world that send cards to her organization. PHOTO: Supplied

Jen Rubino, founder of Cards for Hospitalized Kids (CFHK), a charitable organization that spreads hope and joy through handmade cards to over 40 000 seriously ill hospitalized children across the United States. Jen, who attended Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Illinois and George Washington University in Washington D.C, says her own experiences as a ‘hospitalized kid’ inspired her to start CFHK.

The founder who began gymnastics at age four, quickly developed a love for the sport and began competing at a young age as she dreamed of one day going to the Olympics. She was a competitive gymnast training six days a week and after experiencing pain which she assumed was from an injury at 11 years old in 2006, she visited the doctor, where she was diagnosed with a connective tissue and bone disease changing her life instantly.

“I was forced to end my career in gymnastics, began treatment for my condition and had to adjust to surgeries, treatments, pain and hospitals being a regular part of my life. I have since undergone over 20 surgeries and has frequently been in and out of hospital with my experiences in the hospital showing me how difficult it is to be a child or teen who is hospitalized or seriously ill,” says the founder. Jen says hospitalized children often feel forgotten, sad, lonely and isolated and 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 a sleepover. She says in February 2011, she was in the int