Andrew.Andrew’s first birthday wasn’t just a celebration for him, but for the kids in the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s! Andrew’s parents, Kristian and Andy, decided to that the best way to celebrate their son’s first year of life would be to hold a birthday fundraiser supporting the Heart Institute. 

When Andrew was just two days old, he was unexpectedly diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. Andrew was taken to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at Cincinnati Children’s, where he and his parents spent the first month of his life.

Their month-long stay in the CICU was “a roller coaster,” but thanks to the world-class care Andrew received at Cincinnati Children’s, he is now a happy, healthy 1-year-old. He will come back to Cincinnati Children’s every six months for checkups. Eventually, he will only need to come back once a year.

Even though Kristian and Andy say their time in the CICU was difficult, they truly appreciated the care and attention Andrew received. They wanted to support the hospital that had given them hope for Andrew’s future. Kristian and Andy decided to raise money for Cincinnati Children’s – dedicating Andrew’s first birthday to the Heart Institute seemed like a great opportunity to give back.

“When a 1-year-old gets a toy,” Kristian laughs, “It holds their attention for about two seconds. We thought we could make a better impact by donating to the Heart Institute.”

The fundraising process was easy – Kristian and Andy set up their own Giving Hope fundraising page to collect donations and knew they would go directly to the Heart Institute.

Giving Hope, Cincinnati Children’s community philanthropy program, offers a number of tools for fundraising success, including banners, balloons, change canisters and even a personal fundraising page.

Kristian encourages others to donate or create their own fundraiser, saying, “Every donation helps. Even if you don’t raise thousands of dollars, the littlest bit can make a difference in the lives of patients in the hospital.”

If you would like to learn more about holding a Giving Hope event or fundraiser to benefit Cincinnati Children’s, please visit this web page or contact Megan Boesing at or 513-636-1084.