In August 2006, Keri Jucha, then 10 years old, was diagnosed with a brain abscess as a result of a sinus infection. Her hospitalization required immediate life saving surgery at Rady Children’s. Her recovery was miraculous; Keri left Rady Children’s nine days after her surgery saying she had a great time in the hospital – even though she still had 53 staples in her head and an intravenous line in her arm.
While she was in the hospital she was given beads that she later turned into a fundraising project by beading more than 100 necklaces and bracelets. She sold them through an online auction and raised almost $8,000 for Rady Children’s. With the money, she bought a home movie system for the playroom, a large portable screen, projector, sound system, DVDs, DVD players and dozens of beanie babiesso other kids could have as much fun as she did in the Hospital! She also donated money to Liam’s Fund, a group that raises money to benefit the Neurosurgery Department at Rady Children’s. In July 2007, Keri received the prestigious 10News Leadership award for her work.
In honor of Keri’s Bat Mitzvah in May 2009, she embraced the Jewish values of tzedakah (charity) and did another mitzvah project (fundraiser) to benefit Rady Children’s. She raised an additional $7,000 which has been used to purchase 10 laptop computers, 5 DVD players and new movies and music CD’s for our patients at Rady Children’s.
In October, Keri was a Team Captain for the 3rd Annual Shamu and You Family Walk – her team name was Keri’s Kreations! The money her team raised went towards Dr. Bradley’s research in the Infectious Disease Department. Dr. Bradley was instrumental in Keri’s recovery and is in the forefront of doing research in the hopes of finding a cure for MRSA.