Cincinnati Children’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit to be Named after Generous Donor

Cincinnati Children’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit to be Named after Generous Donor

Stern Family Supports Top Ranked Pediatric Cancer Program

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A prominent Cincinnati couple, whose granddaughter fought and won her battle with pediatric cancer, has left a legacy gift to help other young cancer patients.

The late Mary and Joseph S. Stern, Jr., included Cincinnati Children’s in their estate plans, resulting in a $2.4 million gift to the medical center. In recognition of their generosity, the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in the new Critical Care Building at Cincinnati Children’s will be named in honor of the Sterns.

This is one of the first areas to be named as part of the hospital’s campaign to raise $60 million from philanthropy for the capital project.

“My parents cared deeply about this city and knew Cincinnati Children’s is one of our crown jewels,” said their son, Peter Stern, MD. “It was important to them to leave a lasting legacy there.”

In 1981, Dr. Stern’s daughter Kim was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia at the age of 11. She needed a bone marrow transplant (BMT) to survive. “Back then, Cincinnati didn’t have a BMT unit,” he explained. “So we traveled to Minnesota for her care.”

Kim’s treatment was successful, and today she’s happy, healthy and living in Seattle with her family. “My parents knew the importance of high quality medicine, and they wanted to be a part of ensuring it for Cincinnati’s kids,” said Dr. Stern.

Thanks to the partnership of generous donors, like the Sterns, today Cincinnati Children’s has the number one pediatric cancer program in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2018-2019 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings. The donation comes as September marks Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.

And while the Sterns didn’t make their gift with any sort of eye for recognition, their son is pleased to know their name will be preserved in the halls of the new Critical Care Building.

“The Mary and Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Bone Marrow Unit will be a lasting legacy for my parents,” he said. “They would be thrilled to know that families across the country now travel here – to Cincinnati – for the best cancer care for their children.”

Established in 1986, the Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Program at Cincinnati Children’s is one of the largest pediatric transplant programs in the United States, providing transplants, on average, to more than 100 children a year. The program also has the most extensive experience in the nation in the diagnosis and treatment of children with primary immune deficiencies and marrow failure syndromes.

To learn more about the Critical Care Campaign for Cincinnati Children’s, please contact James Saporito at 513-636-2509 or Or, visit the Critical Care Campaign website.

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Shannon Kettler