The David Ortiz Children’s Fund is committed to helping children in New England and the Dominican Republic who do not have access to the critical pediatric services they need. We are proud to partner with Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and World Pediatric Project through its work with CEDIMAT to fulfill its mission. Working together, we’re increasing the number of children receiving lifesaving surgeries. To date, we have netted more than $2 million for children in need and saved over 500 lives in the Dominican Republic and has helped countless others in the New England area.
One morning in February 2005, at the suggestion of his friends and family, David Ortiz went to CEDIMAT Hospital, in his home country of the Dominican Republic to visit children who had recently received life-saving heart care operations. The children had all received heart surgery through the work of Heartcare Dominicana, an NGO in the Dominican Republic, with the aid of International Hospital for Children, a U.S. based not-for-profit assisting to train medical personnel. David was simply hoping to put a smile on the children’s faces and help them forget their troubles for a moment.
As David walked through the Intensive Care Unit, he was reminded of his own childhood and imagined a young Papi in their position. These children should have been outside playing in the ball fields, not fighting health problems. David was truly amazed by the resilience of the sick children and their parents.
When Big Papi reached the last hospital bed, he saw a two-year old boy who was recovering from surgery and crying into the arms of his mother. David thought about his own son who was the same age and, thank God, healthy. This boy looked so fragile, so small. David was overwhelmed and left the hospital that day tearfully uttering his desire, his need, to do something for these children. He made a promise that he would help them somehow.