Lisa Cohon quote
Amy Bullock
Amy Bullock, director of child life and child development services, believes Cameron’s generosity facilitates healing for patients like Eddie Carrales.

Inspiring Generosity at a Young Age

Cameron Cohen Gift to Mattel Children’s Hospital
Children may feel there is little they can do to benefit others beyond their own families. But 11-year-old Cameron Cohen found a way.

Following orthopedic surgery at Mattel Children’s Hospital, Cohen spent six months in a hip-to-toe leg cast and brace, so he felt left out of the games he normally played with his friends. To amuse himself, he learned to program for the iPhone and iPod Touch and developed a new low-cost application for drawing on those devices. The result: a program called iSketch that is offered on Apples' iTunes and has been purchased by tens of thousands of people.

What he did next is exemplary. He gave $20,000, or well more than half his profits from the sale, to the hospital to buy laptop computers, iPads, iPod Touches and software for teen and preteen patients. And iSketch was the first program downloaded onto the new equipment.

“I had great care in the hospital,” Cohen says, adding that he was fortunate to have his iPod Touch for entertainment. “Other kids need things to help make them feel better, too.” He continues to consult with the hospital on what programs are of most interest to him and others near his age.

Patients check out the devices for four hours at a time and use them with supervision from a parent, hospital staff member or trained volunteer. Doing so keeps them “up to snuff” with their peers, says Amy Bullock, who heads the Department of Child Life and Child Development Services. It also enables those in isolation to communicate with each other. “It helps all of them forget about the intrusive realities of the medical environment,” and, as a result, facilitates their healing and heightens their sense of well-being.

Bullock sees more and more young people thinking about “kids less fortunate than they are. They clearly have role models who are teaching them that philanthropy is important. Considering where the economy has been the last couple of years, it’s pretty remarkable.”