Radio Flyer wagons making Phoenix kids' hospital stays less scary

Wagon for hospitals
Posted at 7:40 AM, Feb 11, 2022

A partnership between Radio Flyer and the Starlight Children's Foundation has helped a Phoenix hospital find a unique way to transport child patients around the facility instead of in a wheelchair or on a gurney.

Banner Thunderbird Medical Center has received five new specially-designed red wagons in the classic Radio Flyer style.

The idea behind the wagons is to make a child's hospital experience a little less scary and a little more fun.

The wagons are made from medical-grade fabric that workers can easily clean. They also have an IV pole attachment, a seatbelt and high, detachable walls, which make for a comfortable and safe ride.

Radio Flyer and Starlight have been making the wagons for about 20 years, and they've given more than 15,000 to hospitals in places where they're needed.


Starlight CEO Adam Garone says his family knows the impact of the wagons firsthand.

"My niece a few years ago was diagnosed with brain cancer, and she spent eight months in (a) children's hospital, and she would sleep in the Radio Flyer wagon — she preferred to sleep in that," Garone said. "It just made those moments when she knew she was going into more chemo, going from her bed to the treatment transformed it and allowed her just to be a kid with something familiar and loved."

Especially during the pandemic with limited hospital visitors, Garone said the wagons make young patients feel less alone and help take them out of the moment.

Those interested can donate money to Starlight specifically to fund more wagons.

This story was originally published by Amelia Fabiano on Scripps station KNXV in Phoenix.