Toby Gerhart visits Matt Blea at VMC – what a winning team!

You likely remember reading about Matt Blea, the high school student injured on the football field on Thanksgiving. Well today Toby Gerhart, Stanford University football star and Heisman Trophy runner-up, came to visit while Matt is back at Valley Medical Center for rehab!

Matt, just weeks after life-saving surgery, started his day jogging in the grass outside the Rehab Unit where his progress has been amazing. Matt had no idea that Toby, one of the players he especially looks up to, was planning to visit him. Toby had heard about the high-schooler’s injury from his coach, and decided to pay Matt a visit.

Coming directly to Valley Medical Center from The Stanford team’s practice for their New Years Eve Sun Bowl game against Oklahoma , Toby met Matt in the day room of Valley Medical Center’s Brain Injury Rehabilitation unit.

Toby was accompanied by Stanford football assistant coach, Tom Steiner, and as family, staff and other patients looked on, Matt accepted gifts of a Stanford jersey and a signed football.

Matt told Toby that he was a huge fan, and shared that his goal was to become a high school coach one day. Toby said how impressed he was with Matt’s progress, and congratulated Matt on his planned discharge from VMC on Christmas Eve – the perfect present!

Our best Bike Build EVER. Again!

On Saturday, something happened so amazing that you pretty much have to see it to believe it…which you can do Turning Wheels for Kids.

My favorite coverage so far is by, and they’ve made the 2300 bikes and 600 volunteers their big inspiring story of the week. Read it here, and seriously now, share this with others. People deserve to know that the biggest all-volunteer “elf” event for the holidays involved this astounding program of the VMC Foundation.

Huge congratulations to Sue Runsvold, R.N., and her team of dedicated “Wheeler Dealers” whose contribution to holiday joy in Silicon Valley is unparallelled.

Last year’s Bike Build was so big, I wondered if they could do it again. Serves me right for wondering…this was the biggest and best ever. Hooray!

Please help VMC help patients with brain injuries!

You may have seen the recent story in the Mercury News of a case involving a football player from a local high school being treated at Valley Medical Center. Our thoughts go out to his family, and we at the VMC Foundation wish him a full recovery. We treat cases like this young man’s all too often at VMC, and we have a need directly related to patients with head injuries on our Holiday Wish List.

Watch the video below to learn about this project, and to see how you can help.

Wish List success continuing…

The VMC Foundation “Holiday Wish List” is now officially 75% granted, thanks to a great group of folks with big hearts…and led by two of the biggest:

Elaine Elkin, philanthropist and business owner, offered a challenge grant to fund the H1N1 Infection Control Stations this week, which was immediately matched to fulfill the $9,500 needed. VMC will now be stopping flu at the door, thanks to this holiday generosity.

Also, Silicon Valley foundation and development powerhouse John A. Sobrato funded the balance of the “art for oncology patients” program, providing a soothing atmosphere for patients undergoing radiation treatment – hugely important, and we’re so thankful!

Click here to learn more about Ms. Elkin and Mr. Sobrato, and if you happen to know them, help me thank them…and watch this space next week for updates on our final “Wish List” item. Happy Holidays!