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The Gift Kids Need Most

It’s always fun to give children gifts wrapped in shiny packages during the holiday season.

But for families who receive care at Riley Hospital for Children, the most precious gift is the one that cannot be wrapped:  hope. As 12-year-old Riley kid Chloe Alexander explains, Riley’s medical team gave her hope that she would beat her cancer. “That just makes me happy, like I WILL be okay,” Chloe said. “If they can believe it, why can’t I?”

With the holiday season campaign The Gift of Hope Happens Here underway, Riley Children’s Foundation is so grateful for supporters like Fifth Third Bank and Indiana Blood Center who generously fuel the programs that matter most at Riley Hospital. Donors’ financial gifts give children like Chloe hope through access to world-class physicians and staff, cutting-edge research trials and family-centered support services.

Fifth Third Bank is committed to providing its time, talent and treasure to causes that make a real difference in the communities it serves. Because Riley Hospital for Children has such a profound impact on children and families in all 92 Indiana counties (and beyond), it makes perfect sense for the Fifth Third Greater Indiana region to partner with Riley and support its efforts to save lives and return hope to families across the area.

The Gift of Hope Happens Here campaign inspires bank employees through stories of children overcoming the odds and the talented caregivers who give so much of themselves to the families they serve. Bank customers have embraced the campaign as well by purchasing a holiday ornament, designed by 2-year-old Riley patient Brielle Hapner, to support Riley and the groundbreaking work it does each and every day. Each ornament provides the community a meaningful reminder of the miracles taking place at Riley, and Fifth Third Bank is proud to play a small role in sharing that story during the holiday giving season.

Indiana Blood Center has also seen the hope that Riley Hospital provides to families from throughout the state. When a patient experiences a blood transfusion, life literally flows back into them and something else happens too—hope returns.

For cancer patients, transfusion medicine is a therapy that depends entirely upon the goodwill of a healthy volunteer blood donor. It takes a sacrificial gift from one person to another—a gift of life that cannot be manufactured or put in the form of a pill. In the case of children, like the ones treated at Riley Hospital, the units they receive are highly specialized.

Giving blood has tremendous benefits for the donor as well. United Health Group studied a group of donors and found that 78 percent reported lower stress levels and 94 percent reported an improvement in their mood—maybe it’s that amazing feeling of hope.

At this most merry, most giving, most busy time of year, it’s easy to forget that hospitals—Riley kids included—need our help. #GiveHope to Riley kids this season by making at gift at RileyKids.org.

Kevin O’Keefe, President and CEO, Riley Children’s Foundation
Steven Alonso, President and CEO Greater Indiana Region at Fifth Third Bank
Charles C. Miraglia, M.D., President and CEO, Indiana Blood Center

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