Young actor Mckenna Grace stepped out of the spotlight to pay a visit to Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s, spreading joy, smiles and a wagon full of gifts to the young patients.

McKenna Grace and Starlight Children's Foundation visited with patients at Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children's

The 17-year-old actor, who has starred in popular shows and movies like Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, The Handmaid’s Tale and Young Sheldon, brought specially designed movie-themed Starlight hospital gowns, coloring books and toys for the patients.

“It’s fun for me to be able to bring things and just talk to people and talk to kids and teens,” Grace said.

For the visit, Grace teamed up with the nonprofit Starlight Children's Foundation, a longtime partner of Cedars-Sinai that distributes cheerful hospital wear, games and distraction resources to make the inpatient experience more positive for children and their families.

“Hospitalization can be a scary and lonely experience,” said Rick Jardiolin, the foundation’s spokesperson. “Our goal is to transform hospital experiences so kids can enjoy the best parts of being a kid, no matter what they’re going through.”

Grace has been through it herself. She had spine surgery performed by David L. Skaggs, MD, director of Pediatric Orthopaedics at Guerin Children’s, to fix severe scoliosis. Now, fully recovered and back in action, she is able to bring joy to other patients still on their healthcare journey.

“Through visits from celebrities like Mckenna, whose sincerity and kindness were apparent throughout her visit, patients and families feel a personal connection with someone they may never have had the opportunity to meet,” said Sandie Sternberg, a certified child life specialist at Guerin Children’s.

During her visit, Grace gleefully swapped pet photos with one of the hospitalized teens and connected with another patient over their mutual love of video games.

“My visit today was great. I got to talk to a lot of kids. I got a new Roblox friend, and I also got invited to a senior prom,” Grace said. “So, I’d say overall, a very successful day.”

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