Sounds like a fairy tale – and a picture tells a thousand words!

Meet C4C’s Martina Pupcsikova, Dr. Clown’s fairy tale reader and painter

Officially, Martina runs the C4C office – but that’s really only one side of her. Otherwise, she’s an author, a marketing specialist, a teacher, a painter, a horse and dog enthusiasts (and all things animal), a handicrafts maker and to top things off – she’s a single mother of two as well!

Martina recently started writing fairy tales to read to her children (what a nice thing to do…) and it went over so well with them that soon she was looking for a forum to share them with others as well. Never one to be short of ideas, Martina then dreamed up the idea of bringing and reading them to C4C’s Dr. Clown constituency: children fighting the “hospital blues” and in dire need to be distracted from their battle against sickness and disease.

The idea right away found traction in the Kladno and Kolin hospitals where the doctors and staff thought it was a brilliant idea to introduce a regular fairy tale reading time to their young patients. The kids and the parents agreed and the rest, as the saying goes, is history…

“Once inside the hospital I experience quite powerful moments”, reports Martina. “Once, a child already released and waiting to be picked up joined us in the dining room and refused to leave with the father before we finished the reading.”

On another occasion Martina was asked by the staff if she could read to a girl who couldn’t join the normal reading because of her serious condition. According to the nurses, she didn’t smile for a week and hardly ever spoke.

“Of course I went upstairs and met Karolinka. She was like a little angle, although pale and with rings under her eyes. We started reading and she was talking, laughing and smiling in no time. The staff was so amazed and thankful”, smiles Martina, remembering the encounter.

But this is not the end of it.  Ever the visionary, Martina is planning to publish her fairy tales as an illustrated book – with pictures drawn by the children who listened to them while in the hospital. At the end of each reading the children are asked to visualize what they just heard and draw a picture. The best pictures will then be chosen to illustrate the book and the winners will be rewarded with a free copy of the book, signed by the author. Martina already decided that in honor of her special time with Karolinka, one of the pictures will be hers.

“We are always looking forward to Martina coming by and reading her fairy tales to our children. The kids especially love the idea that their drawing could be selected to be part of the final book. Martina, with her calm mannerism and smiles, always brings the children comfort, puts them in a good mood, making the time fly by and chasing away their boredom”, comments Jaroslav Noval, staff member of the Kolin hospital.

It even gets better: Martina has decided that part of the proceeds of the books she’ll be publishing will go to Chance 4 Children and help children C4C cares for: those who are ill or socially disadvantaged.

Thank you, Martina – it’s truly a win-win for all involved!