Jimmy Kimmel, host of ABC’s late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, received the Courage to Care award from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) at the hospital’s “From Paris With Love” gala event on Saturday evening, October 20. Kimmel was honored for his compassion and dedicated support for the hospital, which has made a difference in the lives of so many families, including Kimmel’s own.
In 2017, Kimmel’s infant son, Billy, received open-heart surgery at CHLA for a rare congenital heart defect, tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia. Following Billy’s successful operation, Kimmel shared with viewers an emotional account of his family’s experience at CHLA.
“He made an impassioned plea for affordable healthcare for all children with chronic health conditions. It was a bold use of his powerful program, and its effectiveness was driven by the fact that it was so personal. He spoke from his heart and from Billy’s. He waded into a controversial subject without hesitation, because he knew from his own experience that he was right,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger as he presented the Courage to Care award to Kimmel.
Kimmel shared his gratitude to the doctors and nurses at CHLA—one of the leading children’s hospitals in the U.S.—for the exceptional care they gave to Billy, and praised the nonprofit pediatric health care organization’s dedication to all Los Angeles-area families. “So many children, from so many financial backgrounds are cared for so beautifully and with so much compassion,” Kimmel said of CHLA as he accepted the award. “We can never repay them, but we’re going to try.”
The Walt Disney Company was a Gala Benefactor sponsor for this year’s event, a continuation of the special partnership between Disney and CHLA that has endured for more than 35 years. At the heart of this relationship are Disney employees and cast members, who have continued the Company’s legacy of support for children’s hospitals. Over the past decades, Disney VoluntEARS have given many hours of their time to comfort and entertain CHLA patients, the Disney TriTeam has raised millions of dollars to benefit CHLA’s pediatric cancer research program, and Disney Imagineers have used their creative skills to design the hospital’s main lobby.
The Company’s work with CHLA continues through Disney’s Team of Heroes philanthropic and community outreach program, which launched in March 2018 at Texas Children’s Hospital with Iger’s announcement of a five-year plan to dedicate more than $100 million in company resources, including cash, products and services, to reinvent the children’s hospital experience across the globe. Patient care experts from CHLA are among the specialists that Disney is working with to develop a comprehensive and personalized patient and family experience at children’s hospitals to inspire young patients and ease the stress of a hospital stay.