In 2012, 6-year-old Cole was given a devastating diagnosis, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Although his family lived in Connecticut, they wanted the best care for Cole so they brought him to Cincinnati Children’s.  

As the world’s leader in research and clinical care for HLH, Cole’s parents looked to us for treatment. Our experts performed a bone marrow transplant, which was donated by his brother, Ryan, and today he is a healthy, happy, active little boy. 

“We knew going in that Cincinnati Children’s would always be a part of our lives,” says Janet, Cole’s mother. Cole comes back about every six months for follow-up care, and has been given a clean bill of health each time. 

His family is so grateful for the care he received that they wanted to do something to help Cincinnati Children’s and raise awareness about HLH. 

“My brother-in-law and I were talking, and we discussed doing a comedy show fundraiser,” Janet says. “Once we really decided to do it, things kind of just came into place.” 

Janet’s brother-in-law contacted a friend who was a comedian, and he rallied others to join their show, called LOL for HLH. 

“It sold out pretty quickly,” Janet says. “Where we live, there aren’t a lot of comedy shows, so I guess it was something that was a bit of a novelty. We wanted to hold the event to raise awareness, and one of the comedians actually is a doctor, so we ended up with a lot of pediatricians and physicians in the audience.” 

The event was a huge success. With the sold-out attendance and auction sales, LOL for HLH raised $51,000 to support the HLH Center of Excellence at Cincinnati Children’s. Janet and her family were so moved and impressed with the turnout and generosity of their guests. 

Janet shared that the idea of planning and executing a fundraiser of this size was daunting, but with the help of her friends and family, along with the the tools supplied by Cincinnati Children’s Giving Hope program, everything went off without a hitch. 

“The scariest part is taking the first step and committing to have the event,” Janet says. “But once you say you’ll do it, people are very eager to help and get involved. A lot of the burden comes off the event planner.” 

Anyone can hold a fundraiser to benefit the department or division of their choice at Cincinnati Children’s using our Giving Hope program. Cincinnati Children’s can provide tips, a donation website, banners, balloons, change canisters and more, to make your fundraiser a success.