Red-Vested Rockstar: Ed Kraft
“With my biology degree, I worked in a research lab at the U of M, but soon decided that I wanted to work more with people. I had enjoyed being a medic in the army, so I applied to nursing school at the U of M. During my last year of school I was hired at Children’s! The unit I worked on was transformed into an oncology floor. I decided to stay, and became a pediatric oncology nurse.”
2. Favorite thing to do outside of volunteering?
“I used to ride my bike a lot: to work, around the city. Now I enjoy riding my Terra Trike around the area. I have ridden on much of the Grand Round, and toured all the major Minneapolis lakes except Calhoun.
I also grow orchids. I started about 35 years ago when my wife received a catteleya. I tried growing both cateleyas and dendrobiums, but eventually discovered phaleonopsis orchids. I have been growing them ever since. Right now I have about 30; many shades of pink, yellow, dotted, etc.”
3. Do you have any kids or pets of your own?
“My son, David, is 28 years old, and Anne Elizabeth, who would be 22 years old this year, is in heaven. We have two dogs: Abby, a black Schnoodle; and Ellie, a Cockapoo. Those are actually their shortened names. My wife wanted them to have strong female role models, so their full names are Abigail Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt.”
4. Why volunteer at Children’s?
“I was working at Children’s the afternoon my 8-year-old daughter, Anne, was diagnosed with leukemia. After her diagnosis, we spent a lot of time at Children’s together… but she didn’t want me to be her nurse, just her dad. Anne relapsed after six months, while still receiving treatment, but she fought to stay with us for four more years. Anne died on March 1st, 2005, four months after her 12th birthday. Anne left us with a vast collection of her art: paintings, drawings, pastels, sculpture, pottery (both hand-built and thrown on the wheel), puppets, and more.”
5. Share a favorite volunteer experience or story:
“Each year I participate in the CureSearch Walk. It has been an honor to walk alongside the patients and families that have experienced care at Children’s.”
Thank you for dedicating your retired time to Children’s and the patients we serve!