Kokomo family donates stimulus check to Riley Relief Fund

May 13, 2020
Topics: Donors

Shepherd Family Full Size 05.13.2020

As the economic fallout of COVID-19 threatens the financial future of many families, Chad and Cheyenne Shepherd of Kokomo have been feeling the flipside of the pandemic. Chad was working 12-hour days making ventilators at GM’s Kokomo Operations. Cheyenne saw no letup in her responsibilities as Howard County magistrate. When their $2,500 federal stimulus check arrived, the family felt conflicted. “We didn’t feel like we were in a position where we needed that type of help. So we decided we would do something to help out someone who needed it,” said Chad. That’s when they spotted a request for help from Riley Relief Fund. There were no second thoughts.

When Chad was a baby, he was rushed to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. He credits doctors with saving his life when he lost consciousness due to encephalitis. “There was a brain swelling issue,” Chad recalled. “Just a few hours before surgery I woke up and doctors decided not to go ahead with the surgery, and it cleared up. That has stuck with me over time.” In addition, the couple’s son Dake, now 6 years old, was treated in the Riley Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Cheyenne witnessed Riley’s expertise firsthand. “The medical care, bedside manner and everyone’s approach made it as comfortable as you can feel in these difficult situations,” she said. 

The demands of their work schedule have begun to ease, and Chad has gone back to working eight-hour days at GM. As they care for their four children (ages 18, 16, 6 and 2) at home, the Shepherds are reminded of families who are in much greater need. They are glad they could make an impact through the Riley Relief Fund, which provides financial assistance for rent, car payments and other significant costs. “I think that place is fabulous. They give people hope,” says Chad. “If it wasn’t for Riley I might not be here now. I know when my son was there for a short period of time, we had a peace of mind knowing that he was in the best place he could be.”

If you have been inspired by Chad and Cheyenne and would like to make a gift you can donate at RileyKids.org/Relief

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The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.

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