Indiana’s kids can’t wait

Keywords Opinion

What if you could give hope to a sick child? Or save a baby’s life? What if you could arrest childhood cancer?

These are questions we are posing as Riley Children’s Foundation launches “Be the Hope NOW: The Campaign for Kids.” As one of the nation’s leaders in pediatric medicine, Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health has always been a haven for sick and injured children, no matter what their economic situation is. To meet every child’s needs, we are committed to reaching the campaign goal of $175 million by June 2020.

Indiana is losing more than 600 babies before their first birthday each year. That number is unacceptable. Donors are already helping Riley battle Indiana’s alarming infant mortality problem. Riley has used philanthropic gifts to hire 10 maternal-fetal medicine specialists and create a Fetal Center program. We are partnering with state and local governments, community hospital systems and other non-profits to extend this critical work.

Philanthropy—to support our amazing researchers, doctors and nurses—has propelled Riley into one of the nation’s top 10 pediatric research programs. Your help could slow or even cure serious childhood diseases. Children like Riley Champion Ayden Wagler, Odon, Ind., who lost a leg during her battle with the tumor disorder neurofibromatosis, have hope thanks to Riley’s physician-scientists who are leading clinical trials for new therapies.

Insurance does not cover the cost of programs like Child Life and Social Work. These programs are an important component of pediatric hospital–based care and help reduce the stress and emotional trauma that families may experience when a child is injured or becomes ill. Because of your compassion, Riley Children’s Foundation now covers more than 75 percent of the funding for these teams.

What if we all decided to “Be the Hope NOW” for Riley Children’s Foundation?

The test of any community, any state is measured by how we care for and lift up our smallest and neediest citizens. Given the generosity of Hoosier hearts, I am excited to see what we can do to support Riley and the children it serves. Please visit rileykids.org/bethehopenow.

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Dave Ricks

Chairman, Riley Children’s Endowment Board of Governors

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