Maryssa and family.

A recent gift from Maryssa’s Mission supports a family lounge in the new Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU). This space gives families a place to gather, share a meal, do homework, play a game with siblings and more—all just steps away from their child’s hospital room. 

Partnership Matters

A Mission to Help Others

Mitch and Mindy welcomed Maryssa and her twin sister Malinah into the world early–at just 29 weeks. Both girls were born tiny and frail, but Maryssa also had a serious heart condition.

Worried about their tiny baby girls, Mitch and Mindy wanted to ensure that Maryssa received the best possible care. That’s why they came to us from their home in Cleveland. Our experts diagnosed her with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) in addition to her already diagnosed transposition of the great arteries (TGA). HLHS is a condition where the heart is underdeveloped and restricts the flow of blood. And sadly, it took Maryssa when she was just 2 years old. 

“I’ll never forget the day when our doctors told us she wasn’t going to make it. We came out from that little room feeling completely devastated, then walking into the hustle and bustle of a busy intensive care unit waiting area was so jarring,” Mindy remembers. “It’s been six years, but that feeling has stuck with me.”

Inspired to help other families facing the unthinkable, these grieving parents turned their heartache into action. They established the Maryssa’s Mission Foundation, which helps families traveling to Cincinnati Children’s and other pediatric hospitals with temporary lodging, money for gas and food, and other items to take some of their stress away. Their goal is to “be the blessing they prayed to receive.” 

When Mitch and Mindy learned about our new Critical Care Building, they were eager to expand Maryssa’s legacy. Their foundation made their biggest philanthropic investment to date to name a family lounge in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) in her honor. 

The room is a place where families can be alone, reflect and gather for a meal during their greatest time of need.

“We’re so excited to see this family lounge become a reality,” Mitch says. “The location couldn’t be more perfect. You can see the bridge that connects the old CICU to the new one, and we think that’s just perfect. To us, that bridge represents where Maryssa’s journey ends and her mission begins.” 

Though Maryssa’s time on earth was too short, her legacy and the love she shared will continue to live on through the many people who’ve been touched by her story. And now, even more families will receive the compassion and care they need thanks to those who continue to love, honor and support her foundation.

Baby in hospital.

Kindervelt has given more than $20 million to Cincinnati Children’s, and now supports our new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, which has rooms that are larger to allow for privacy and better sleeping accommodations for parents.

50 Years of Having Fun While Raising Funds 

In 1971, a group of women came together with two goals in mind: to support the kids and families cared for by Cincinnati Children’s and to have fun while doing it. Soon after, Kindervelt was born. From that first group of women, Kindervelt has grown to 21 chapters across Greater Cincinnati and is the medical center’s largest fundraising auxiliary.

This year marks two important milestones for the organization. Not only are they celebrating their 50th anniversary, but they’ve also achieved an amazing fundraising milestone.

Kindervelt has reached $20 million raised in support of the medical center—impacting kids and families from here in town, across the country and around the world.

Their generous contributions have benefited programs and divisions throughout the medical center.

For the next three years, Kindervelt will be supporting Critical Care Medicine and our new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Not even a global pandemic could distract the women of Kindervelt from their mission. “When we canceled in-person gatherings because of COVID-19, our nearly 600 members rose to the occasion and got creative,” says Katrina Snow, Kindervelt’s president. “In this past year, we’ve hosted a city-wide scavenger hunt families could do from the safety of their cars, a virtual haunted house and a Valentine’s treat sale.”

And there seems to be no end in sight for their enthusiasm and commitment to supporting the medical center. Katrina shares excitedly, “Our motto is ‘Together, we can make a difference’ and that’s been true for the last 50 years—and for many more years in the future!”

A patient with caregiver.

A new family lounge will allow parents to stay close to their child in treatment and also spend time with other members of their family—creating as much normalcy 
as possible. 

Helping Families Stay Together

Supporting the community is a key priority for Fort Washington Investment Advisors. The asset management firm has supported the medical center for more than 20 years, committed to helping ease the fears and tensions of families who may face a life-changing diagnosis.

They recently renewed their commitment with a donation of $500,000. A portion of the contribution will also name a family lounge in the bone marrow transplantation unit of our new Critical Care Building.

This family lounge will be a place where the whole family can gather—parents and siblings—without leaving the hospital. They’ll be able to do homework, play games and share meals, all while staying close to their sick child.

“We know that children who need a bone marrow transplant can face months or even years of treatments and uncertainty. And we know that the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute at Cincinnati Children’s is one of the best places to get the care they need,” says Fort Washington Investment Advisors President and CEO Maribeth Rahe. “This donation is just one small way of letting families know that we’re with them. And we’re so grateful for all of the care and support the doctors, nurses, everyone at the hospital provides every day.”

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