Natalie Portman's Story of Volunteering at a Children's Hospital Will Make You Tear Up

Natalie Portman
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

When I started visiting CHLA in 2008, I didn’t realize what a huge toll having a child battling illness or injury takes on the whole family. It’s an unimaginable position to be in.

I participate in Make March Matter—a monthlong fund-raiser for patients receiving critical care—because I’m impressed by the programs and positive environment the hospital provides for so many kids and their families. It has created support systems that are social as well as medical, so when I volunteer, I’m able to play games like Uno, Scrabble, Wii Sports, and more with the kids to help lift their spirits.

I’ve connected with many patients over the years, but one child with cystic fibrosis stands out in my mind. He had the soul of a poet—every time I visited him, he was so full of wisdom, joy, and life. It’s horrible that he or any child should have to struggle. I’m happy to work with a fund-raiser that partners with local businesses to assist these families. When we’re in a position to alleviate some suffering, I believe we should. —As told to Christina Shanahan

Natalie Portman at Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Courtesy Children's Hospital Los Angeles

For more stories like this, pick up InStyle's April issue, on newsstands and available for digital download Mar. 17.

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