Riley Hospital patients design ornaments to promote The Gift of Hope Happens Here
Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health patients are spreading holiday cheer. Three exclusive ornaments designed by Riley kids are available for a limited time, with all proceeds benefiting The Gift of Hope Happens Here year-end giving campaign led by Riley Children’s Foundation.
The Gift of Hope Happens Here campaign, supported statewide by Fifth Third Bank and Indiana Blood Center, raises funds and provides hope to thousands of families seeking help for seriously ill and injured children – care that only Riley Hospital for Children can provide. You can #GiveHope to Riley Hospital through donations at RileyKids.org and by purchasing ornaments.
Bradee Wilzbacher of Haubstadt, Ind., is one of three ornament artists. Bradee is a high school freshman who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 5. Thanks to the care she receives at Riley, Bradee is able to do all of the things she loves—including competitive dancing. Bradee’s “Snowflake” ornament is available for $10 at Fifth Third Bank branches.
“We invite our customers to contribute to the Gift of Hope campaign by visiting Fifth Third Bank financial centers during November and December to purchase a special-edition ornament only available at our locations. Every dollar raised will go to Riley Hospital,” said Steven Alonso, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank Greater Indiana. “We are excited to partner with an organization that is so widely respected and recognized because it provides Fifth Third a wonderful opportunity to impact the entire state by improving lives and strengthening families.”
Riley holiday ornaments are available at the following locations while supplies last:
Candy Cane Ornament
- Riley Patient/Artist: Emily Brant, LaPorte, Ind.
- In February 2012, 9-month-old Emily Brant was fighting for her life as she was airlifted from her local hospital to Riley Hospital for Children. Upon her arrival, Emily underwent emergency surgery where doctors successfully removed an ulcer found between her esophagus and small intestine. With minor complications that followed, Emily was able to return home after a week-and-a-half. Emily is now a healthy, cheerful 4-year-old. She enjoys coloring, playing with her sister, Kaelie, and riding her bike.
- Availability: RileyHolidayCards.org
- Riley Patient/Artist: Bradee Wilzbacher, Haubstadt, Ind.
- At 4 years old, now 14-year-old Bradee Wilzbacher was referred to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. Weighing only 29 pounds, Bradee was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease which often causes abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss. Today, Bradee continues to endure regular injections and makes a monthly three-hour trek to Riley. Despite the challenges presented by Crohn’s disease, Bradee maintains a positive, energetic attitude. Now a freshman at Gibson Southern High School, Bradee is a varsity cheerleader, track runner and competitive dancer. With her busy schedule, Bradee still gives back to Riley by participating in multiple Riley Dance Marathons, raising more than $5,300, and even serving as a 2016 Riley Champion.
- Availability: Fifth Third Bank beginning December 1
- Riley Patient/Artist: Kilyn Dripps, Noblesville, Ind.
- In June 2009, Kilyn Dripps was born with tumors near her eye and an interrupted aortic arch and a large ventricular septal defect. While spending her first month of life in the Riley Newborn Intensive Care Unit, now 7-year-old Kilyn underwent her first open heart surgery to repair her interrupted aortic arch at only a week old. At the age of 2, Kilyn’s ventricular septal defect was repaired in her second open-heart surgery. With 15 surgeries under her belt, Kilyn is now a compassionate, energetic second-grader at Hinklecreek Elementary. Kilyn has a passion for art, gymnastics and lending a hand to anyone in need, especially through her annual “Kilyn’s Krusader’s” lemonade stand. This year Kilyn hopes to raise enough funds to add another Riley Wagon to the fleet.
- Availability: Speedway Convenience Stores
The artwork for these ornaments are also available as holiday cards at RileyHolidayCards.org. All proceeds from these holiday cards benefit The Gift of Hope Happens Here campaign.
About Riley Children’s Foundation
Riley Children’s Foundation is the fundraising arm of Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and the founding organization that opened Riley Hospital in 1924. Today Riley Hospital is recognized as one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation and is the only comprehensive children’s research hospital in the state of Indiana. Our mission is to raise funds statewide to support Riley Hospital funding priorities: pediatric research and patient care, maternity and newborn health and family support programs. Riley Children’s Foundation also funds Camp Riley and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home and Billie Lou Wood Visitor Center. For more information, visit RileyKids.org.