Why We Give: David and Barbara Mitchel

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David and Barbara Mitchel

Cochlear implants were still in their infancy when David and Barbara Mitchel of Carmel, Ind., considered them as a possible option for their hearing-impaired son, Matthew. Today, the Mitchels remain steadfast supporters of the Riley audiologist who pioneered the technology, and his team’s continuing research.

Barbara first got to know Dr. Richard T. Miyamoto after she joined the Psi Iota Xi sorority in 1966. The charitable organization provided critical funds to fuel the research that enabled Dr. Miyamoto to perform Indiana’s first cochlear implant surgery in 1979.

The Mitchel family talked with Dr. Miyamoto and determined that cochlear implants would not be ideal for Matthew, since he was doing well with hearing aids. Still, the couple was impressed by both the doctor and his mission. “When you listen to Dr. Miyamoto talk, it’s really hard to turn him down,” says Barbara. “He’s so passionate about his work. He is so grateful to those who help him.”

Barbara was National President of Psi Iota Xi in 1999 when the sorority completed fundraising for an Endowed Professorship in Speech and Hearing at Riley. Today, she and David continue to contribute to the Richard T. Miyamoto/Psi Iota Xi Endowment in Speech and Hearing. They are also devoted supporters of Camp Riley. “It’s so gratifying to know where your funds are going and what’s happening with them,” explains Barbara. “It makes you want to work harder to do more fundraising and support those who are truly grateful. We have felt confident in Riley Children’s Foundation as a good steward of our gifts.”

Barbara encourages people with interest in helping Riley Hospital to take a tour and get involved. “It does make us very happy and proud to have become a part of it.”

To make a personal gift or arrange a tour of Riley Hospital, please contact Jim Williams at jwilliams@rileykids.org or (317) 759-6914.

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