Jon Bell has brought smiles and comfort to patients at Children’s National Hospital for more than 20 years. He knows what it’s like to be sick. Our doctors cared for him when he was a young kidney patient in the 1940s. He was hospitalized 28 times between the ages of 3 and 7.

Jon, now retired from a career as an electrical engineer, credits his care team with restoring his health as a child and setting him on a path to a bright future.

That future has included nearly 3,000 hours of volunteer service at Children’s National. Prior to the pandemic, he spent time every week listening to children and playing games. “I like to talk to the kidney patients or drop in on children undergoing dialysis,” says Jon. He also led tours for new employees.

“It gives me great joy to help kids who have the same disease that I did, grow up stronger,” he says. “I love providing a bit of cheer. It’s about learning to stand up to the challenges of life — physical, mental or emotional — and overcoming them.”

A young patient at Children's National Hospital.

Make a Difference

Your charitable donation changes children’s lives. Support exceptional health care and discoveries that offer hope, healing and brighter futures.

A young patient at Children's National Hospital.