Posted on Dec. 12, 2014 (
Tina Ngo volunteers at MultiCare Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Center every other Friday. She calls herself "The Nail Fairy" and wears a tutu and wings while she pushes a cart filled with bottles of nail polish from room to room in the hospital.
Tina is a licensed manicurist and her business is called Tina's Traveling Nails. Tina was working at a salon in the Stadium District of Tacoma when a client inspired her to take her show on the road.
Each week Tina would watch her client walk from her nearby nursing home to the salon. It was a struggle for the client, even with a walker, and Tina worried for her safety.
Then Tina had an idea.
"I thought, 'What if I go to her nursing home?'"
It didn't take long for word to spread and Tina began booking appointments at clients' nursing homes, offices and homes in the Tacoma area. A few of her clients were MultiCare employees.
Tina had another idea.
She remembered how happy manicures and pedicures made children in the salon. What if she took her talents to the children at Mary Bridge?
"Nail polish makes kids happy, it is so simple," Tina says.
Tina came as a special visitor and painted nails in the playroom. She quickly became a volunteer so she could make regular visits to the hospital. A client suggested she be the nail fairy so Tina made a tutu and wings.
Each child who gets a manicure at Mary Bridge gets to keep the mini bottle of nail polish Tina uses to paint. Most of the bottles Tina brings are donated by her clients.
On a recent visit, Tina pushed her cart down the hallway of the pediatric intensive care unit. She stopped by a room to see if she could offer a manicure. Ellie, 7, was visiting her sister who had been hospitalized for pneumonia for a week. It was Ellie's first visit to the hospital to see her sister.
Ellie giggled when she looked down at her freshly painted pink and yellow nails.
"It's been a rough week," says Ellie's dad, Shane. "This was really cool."
Jen Rittenhouse is the social media manager for MultiCare and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. She writes stories that connect people with hospitals, health care and each other. You can reach her at [email protected]
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