Oliver had two open heart surgeries before his first birthday.
INSIDE Transforming the state of youth mental health, page 8 Grateful family invests in research breakthroughs, page 12 Donors shine at Childrenâ€™s Gala, page 16
INSIDE Breakthroughs in regenerative medicine could heal heart defects in kids like Oliver. Page 4
4 Mending Broken Hearts Could researchers bioengineer components to repair heart defects in kids?
8 Transforming the State of Youth Mental Health Children’s Hospital Colorado leads initiative to help kids in crisis
11 King Soopers Gives Back
How the company is helping kids, one cupcake at a time
12 Paying it Forward
For the Culshaw family, investing in research is personal
14 Voices of Courage
Patient Ambassadors share why they support the hospital
American youth face a mental health crisis. Children’s Hospital Colorado has a plan to transform treatment. Page 8
16 Children’s Gala Raises Millions Highlights of the elegant affair
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The Courage is... magazine is a biannual publication of Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated solely to advancing the mission of Children’s Hospital Colorado. Editors: Megan Lane, Michele Murray Contributors: Madeline Schroeder, Erin Bodine, Anna Pohlad • Design by Straightline Design Financial and other information about Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation’s purpose, programs and activities can be obtained by contacting 720-777-1700 or email@example.com. For a complete list of state disclosure requirements, visit www.childrenscoloradofoundation.org/disclosures. To opt out of mailings from Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation, please call 720-777-1700. For more information about the Colorado Enterprise Zone Tax Credit, visit ChildrensColoradoFoundation.org/ez. Please consult a tax advisor prior to taking any action based on this information.
From lemonade stands to lasting legacies. From pennies in piggy banks to savings from a lifetime of hard work. Your generosity is a powerful force. And you make an incredible impact. Children’s Hospital Colorado has been hard at work to implement a bold vision to reimagine pediatric health care through Courage is… The Campaign to Transform Children’s Health. Our $400 million campaign fundraising goal is the most ambitious in our organization’s history. And now, as we near the achievement of this goal, we’re simply in awe of our community’s generosity. Our sincere thanks to the nearly 180,000 donors who have joined in our mission with their generous giving to the Courage is… Campaign. As the only nonprofit pediatric hospital in a region that spans seven states, we are here for every child and family who needs us, thanks to donors like you. With your help, we will realize our campaign goal, only to continue the fight for tomorrow. Because the work of improving children’s health is far from finished, and we will not rest until every family has the answers they need.
Will you be a part of this historic fundraising effort?
Donate today at CourageIs.org
Children’s Hospital Colorado
IN THE NEWS
The Anschutz Foundation Makes Historic $120 Million Campus Gift The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus recently announced the largest gift in its history. With a remarkable philanthropic commitment of $120 million, The Anschutz Foundation and its founder and chair, Philip Anschutz, are further elevating the stature of the Anschutz Medical Campus as one of the country’s top medical destinations. This landmark commitment brings The Anschutz Foundation’s total investment in our campus, which includes Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado Hospital, to nearly $300 million. The gift will bolster efforts to recruit and retain renowned leaders in health care and fuel innovation that leads to the cures and care of the future.
Children’s Hospital Colorado Ranks Among Best in Nation U.S. News & World Report has named Children’s Hospital Colorado to its 2018-19 Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll, a distinction awarded to the Top 10 best children’s hospitals nationwide. Based on clinical data, outcomes and peer reputation, Children’s Colorado also received high marks in every ranked specialty. Five Children’s Colorado specialties made the prestigious Top 10 list including Neonatology (No. 4), Diabetes & Endocrinology (No. 7), Gastroenterology & GI Surgery (No. 7), Pulmonology (No. 7) and Cancer (No. 8). In other testaments to our talented team, 94 Children’s Colorado doctors were named to 5280 Magazine’s “Top Docs” list this year, and Parents magazine named Children’s Colorado as one of the 20 Top Children’s Hospitals in Innovation and Technology.
“New discoveries in the realm of personalized medicine and novel therapeutics are rapidly changing the pediatric health care landscape,” said Children’s Hospital Colorado President and CEO Jena Hausmann. “This generous gift infuses valuable resources into that work and will translate into more effective, highly tailored treatments for children battling a range of illnesses and diseases.”
Joseph Wagner Named Trustee Emeritus In recognition of more than 24 years of service on the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation Board of Trustees, Joseph Wagner was elected a Trustee Emeritus by his fellow Trustees. This lifetime appointment recognizes Mr. Wagner’s long, extraordinary service to the Joseph Wagner Board, as well as his generous support of Children’s Colorado. As a Charles C. Gates Society member, Mr. Wagner has donated more than $6 million over his lifetime, including a $2 million gift to establish The Wagner Family Chair in Childhood Diabetes. Recognized in the Colorado Business Hall of Fame, Mr. Wagner founded Wagner Equipment Co.
Celebrating a Gift of Art At Children’s Hospital Colorado, art plays an essential role in healing. We are grateful to Craig Ponzio, Children’s Colorado Lifetime Director and private art collector, for his recent gift of Harlequin, a 20-foot outdoor sculpture by famed American sculptor David Hayes. The piece was recently installed on the front lawn of the hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus.
From left: Wonenoun Somé, rider, and Dr. Dan Hyman at the Courage Classic Bicycle Tour
Medical Staff Gives Back Our pediatric specialists are highly dedicated to the mission of Children’s Hospital Colorado — so much so that more than 800 medical staff members made a personal donation to the hospital last year. No one understands the critical role of philanthropy to our mission more than caregivers. In the past five years, medical staff members have contributed more than $4.8 million in outright gifts to Courage is… The Campaign to Transform Children’s Health. Whether it is riding in the Courage Classic Bicycle Tour or leaving a bequest to Children’s Colorado in their estate plans, our generous providers demonstrate that they are personally invested in advancing their work and supporting the patient families we serve. “It sends a strong message that we believe in the mission, people and programs at Children’s Colorado,” said Dr. Dan Hyman, Chief Medical and Patient Safety Officer at Children’s Colorado and Co-Chair of the Medical Staff Campaign Council. “Without philanthropic support, much of what we do would not be possible. The medical staff knows that every gift, no matter the size, makes a difference.”
Mr. Ponzio has long supported the healing power of the arts. His $2 million gift to Children’s Colorado in 2005 established the hospital’s Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program. He has since established multiple endowments and donated to support art therapy, research and clinical care in gratitude for the care his children received at Children’s Colorado. The art displayed throughout Children’s Colorado is intended to delight visitors while reducing stress for patient families and caregivers alike. With bright colors and spirited shapes, the new Harlequin sculpture symbolizes optimism, joy, creativity and unity.
Medical staff members who made a personal donation in 2017
Five-year increase in medical staff donors
Medical staff members who participated in the 2018 Courage Classic Bicycle Tour
MENDING BROKEN HEARTS
Through regenerative medicine, researchers are working to engineer living tissue that seamlessly melds with a patientâ€™s heart to repair a defect.
Could scientists use regenerative medicine to repair heart defects in children? It’s an unimaginable scenario for an expectant parent: A routine ultrasound reveals your unborn baby has a life-threatening heart defect. Doctors can likely repair his fragile, malformed heart, but your child will face years of difficult operations and the possibility of lifelong complications. This is a reality that patient families face every day at Children’s Hospital Colorado. But what if there was a better, less invasive way to repair congenital heart defects — one that would allow children to safely heal without multiple open heart surgeries? Imagine if doctors could use emerging technologies to 3D print the damaged components of a patient’s heart — making valves, ventricles, even the entire organ — and then quite literally bring those parts to life by infusing them with the child’s own healthy stem cells. These bioengineered parts would then be implanted in patients and become living, functional tissue, helping to repair heart defects permanently.
Dr. Jeffrey Jacot
You might think this sounds like something out of a science fiction novel. And yet in a laboratory on the Anschutz Medical Campus, these astonishing innovations are already well on their way to becoming a reality.
Regenerating hearts Congenital heart defects are the most common form of birth defects. Children’s Colorado’s patient survival rates are among the best in the nation, but many children still face a long, painful road to recovery. Tragically, despite doctors’ best efforts, some die prematurely. With the help of donors, the future is looking brighter for children born with heart problems. Children’s Colorado physician-scientists are on the brink of new breakthroughs in regenerative medicine that could radically change the way we repair congenital heart defects. This promising area of research seeks to repair or replace damaged tissue with living, functional cells. “For 30 years, there hasn’t been any real technological change to how these defects are repaired,” says Dr. Jeffrey Jacot, a researcher with the University of Colorado Department of Bioengineering. “I think regenerative medicine is going to change that.”
Creating living tissue Pediatric heart surgeon Dr. James Jaggers, Co-Medical Director of the Children’s Colorado Heart Institute and The Barton-Elliman Chair in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery, often uses synthetic patches to correct conditions like hypoplastic left heart syndrome and other heart defects. Synthetic patches are currently the best available option, but they have many limitations. “The problem with synthetic patches is that they aren’t living,” Dr. Jaggers said. “They don’t contract like the human heart does. They don’t have electrical activity like the human heart. And they don’t grow with children as they get older.”
“The future lies in these regenerative therapies.” – DR. JAMES JAGGERS, CO-MEDICAL DIRECTOR, CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL COLORADO HEART INSTITUTE
Repairing defects with synthetic material means children typically have to undergo multiple open-heart surgeries throughout their childhood to fully repair a defect. Dr. Jaggers believes that advances in regenerative medicine could change that. Dr. James Jaggers
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Here's how it would work: When a baby is born with a congenital heart defect, doctors would harvest the child's amniotic stem cells during delivery. Those cells could then be genetically transformed into the variety of cells that make up the human heart. Researchers such as Dr. Jacot could then weave those cells into a so-called “living” heart patch, which Dr. Jaggers could implant to repair the child’s heart. Unlike a synthetic heart patch, the living patch would beat like a real heart and grow as the patient grows. “Living heart patches will give full cardiac function back to these infants with heart defects, possibly allowing them to avoid the need for multiple operations,” said Dr. Jacot. Researchers believe these remarkable innovations could benefit patients within five years. Much of the technology already exists, and the team has proven that they can generate beating heart cells from amniotic fluid. For patients like Oliver (see story on page 7), it’s feasible — even likely — that tissue engineered in a lab on the Anschutz Medical Campus will soon help to cure their damaged hearts, potentially eliminating the need for future surgeries. Eventually, with support from visionary philanthropists, Dr. Jaggers and others hope to take the research beyond living patches to rebuild entire chambers of the heart. These advancements could have dramatic implications for heart transplant patients. Gifts from generous donors like Carol and Tom Fullerton, the Millisor family, The Boedecker Foundation and many others make the groundbreaking research at the Children's Colorado Heart Institute possible. “Someday we may be able to 3D print heart components and infuse them with living cells harvested from the patient,” said Dr. Jaggers. “We could then implant those parts to repair defects.”
A history-making surgery These life-saving discoveries are becoming closer to reality. Just recently, Children’s Colorado joined a consortium led by the Mayo Clinic to advance cell-based research for congenital heart defects. The partnership is already yielding promising results. “Earlier this year, a mother delivered a baby with hypoplastic left heart syndrome at our hospital. She
Dr. James Jaggers performs surgery to repair a patient’s heart
allowed us to collect the baby’s cord blood to send to Mayo Clinic for processing,” said Dr. Jaggers. A few months later, during the patient’s second heart surgery, Dr. Jaggers injected the baby’s stem cells directly into the baby’s heart muscle in a first-of-its-kind, historymaking procedure aimed at strengthening the child’s heart. “Early results show that the function of the heart is pretty significantly improved in the short-term after the injections of these stem cells,” said Dr. Jaggers. For many children with complex heart defects, the organ may eventually simply "wear out." The ultimate goal of stem cell injections is to strengthen and improve heart function to the point that some patients can delay — or even avoid — a heart transplant. It’s a trailblazing concept — one that Dr. Jaggers calls a “game changer” for his patients. With ongoing philanthropic support, Children’s Colorado researchers will continue to develop life-saving breakthroughs that today’s innovators are only beginning to imagine.
Help Heal Little Hearts Every day, our physician-scientists are pursuing new treatments and cures to drastically improve children’s lives. Accelerate our research efforts by donating today: ChildrensColoradoFoundation.org/give Donations of $250 or more to the Research Institute may qualify for the Colorado Enterprise Zone Tax Credit.
Brave Heart: Oliver’s Story It was Christmas 2016 when Alex and Becca surprised their families with the joyful news: Becca was pregnant with their first child, a baby boy named Oliver. The elated couple started preparing to welcome a new baby. Then everything changed at the couple’s 20-week ultrasound. “The doctor came in and said that there was something wrong with the baby’s heart,” said Alex. “Those were the hardest words I've ever heard.” Oliver was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a serious heart defect in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped. Despite significant advancements over the past decade, the condition is still the No. 1 cause of heart-related death in infants. Alex and Becca learned that Oliver’s heart would need to be almost entirely reconstructed. Within days of being born, he’d need the first of three major open heart surgeries at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Donors are the Heartbeat of Research Donor support plays a critical role for physician-scientists who pursue cures for children with congenital heart defects. Dr. Jaggers is The Barton-Elliman Chair in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery, and he says that generous endowment funds provide critical support to drive new breakthroughs. “These funds support our research infrastructure,” Dr. Jaggers said. “The endowment provides for resources and staff such as research coordinators and bio-statisticians to move clinical research projects forward.”
Advances in regenerative medicine could help kids like Oliver avoid multiple surgeries to repair heart defects.
On July 25, 2017, Becca delivered Oliver at the Children’s Hospital Colorado Fetal Care Center. At just 2 days old, he underwent his first open heart surgery. Dr. James Jaggers performed the intricate procedure on Oliver’s tiny heart.
“It wasn’t easy to hand our baby over for surgery, not knowing if we’d ever see him again,” Becca said. Oliver made it through surgery, but over the next several months he struggled through multiple complications, hospitalizations and severe infections. Just before he turned 4 months old, Oliver had to undergo his second open heart surgery — a painful procedure that left him inconsolable for days.
Hope in research Oliver is now 1 year old. He has recovered from his initial surgeries but will require a final heart operation within the next two years. “He wouldn’t be here without Children’s Hospital Colorado,” Alex said. “They care for not just the illness, but for the whole child and their family.” Alex and Becca decided to harvest Oliver’s stem cells from his umbilical cord at birth in hopes that the promising regenerative medicine research taking place at Children’s Colorado might someday be able to help their son. Most regenerative therapies using a patient’s stem cells are still in the early stages, but the family hopes that new treatments might be ready in time for Oliver’s final heart surgery.
With the help of the endowed chair, Dr. Jaggers and his team are advancing exciting new technologies. Recently, after years of work, his team secured a patent for a miniaturized heart bypass machine pump designed specifically for children. Currently, pediatric patients are forced to use Miniaturized heart bypass machine pump bulky adult-sized bypass machines during heart surgery, which can cause undue stress on children’s small bodies. “With support from the endowment, we developed a unique mechanism to miniaturize the pump,” said Dr. Jaggers. “Now we’re in the process of sharing our innovation with industry partners.” Philanthropy for this important work has become even more critical in recent years as government funding for research declines. Generous donors have stepped in to fill the gap, yet additional funds are needed to ensure that progress continues, new treatments are identified and more lives can be saved.
For now, Alex and Becca are looking forward to spending the holiday season at home as a family — and are very grateful for their son and the doctors who saved his life. “My family asked what I wanted for Christmas this year, and I told them I don’t want anything,” said Becca. “I have my son, and that’s all I could ever ask for.”
Transforming the State of
Children’s Hospital Colorado Leads Movement to Help Kids in Crisis
“Why would anyone want to be my friend?”
These were the thoughts that would race through Cora’s head as she lay awake at night, overcome with anxiety. At age 14, Cora developed an eating disorder. By 8th grade, she was surviving on six crackers a day and weighing herself every three hours. As her parents tried desperately to find quality treatment options for their daughter, Cora continued to dramatically decline. “Cora needed help right away, or she could die,” said her mom, Caroline.
A mental health crisis Nationwide, young people are experiencing a mental health crisis, with an estimated 1 in 5 youth facing a mental health disorder. Despite the staggering statistics, mental health support services are few and far between. The typical journey for a struggling child or teen begins with a trip to the primary care doctor, but many pediatricians lack the resources and experience to diagnose or treat kids with mental health issues. Children who are correctly diagnosed often have a hard time finding quality care. Colorado ranks 48th in the nation for accessibility to pediatric mental health services. Cora’s family knows these barriers all too well. “We were doing everything in our power to help, but we still struggled to get our daughter the care she desperately needed,” said Cora’s mother. Adding to the confusion is a broken system. There is no statewide entity to coordinate mental health care in Colorado. That means every provider and facility has different prevention, screening and treatment programs, leaving far too many families with an uncertain path forward in their attempts to get help.
Some families never break through the barriers, and their children never get the help they need. Tragically, suicide is the leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24 in Colorado. With the help of donors, Children’s Hospital Colorado aims to radically change the mental health system so that kids can get the right diagnosis and treatment before issues escalate to a crisis. “It doesn’t have to be this way,” said Shannon Van Deman, Vice President of Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Pediatric Mental Health Institute. “Our kids deserve access to all of the care they need.”
Expanding services Children’s Colorado is committed to addressing the immediate crisis while also creating a better mental health future through broad, systemic change. Many kids in crisis arrive at the emergency room to find that there are long wait lists for treatment. With donor support, Children’s Colorado plans to significantly expand our outpatient programs and add inpatient rooms so we can treat more kids and teens. In addition, there are plans to expand patient rooms, so that parents
HEALTH Cora, 17, found help at Children’s Hospital Colorado for an eating disorder.
can stay overnight with their children to aid in the healing process. Generous donors are already coming forward to support this hopeful vision. The Anschutz Foundation has committed a challenge gift of $5 million to support family-centered care and renovations at the Pediatric Mental Health Institute. Once Children’s Colorado secures $6.5 million in donations from the community, it will unlock this incredible $5 million gift from The Anschutz Foundation.
Leading change Not only are we expanding facilities to help more kids who urgently need support today, Children’s Colorado is also building extensive partnerships to create a better system for helping kids statewide. Our team is educating and supporting primary care providers across the state on how to better identify, diagnose and treat mental health disorders. From connecting doctors in rural communities with our trained psychiatrists via telemedicine to training teachers and school counselors about mental health warning signs, Children’s Colorado wants every young person to have access to the mental health services they need to thrive. Children’s Colorado is already making this new future a reality. Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, Children’s Colorado recently formed Partners for Children’s Mental Health, a statewide entity that brings together health care, policy and thought leaders to improve access to the highestquality mental health services for kids. As part of the initiative, the hospital is spearheading a statewide assessment to track patient outcomes,
Donors Are Making a Difference We are grateful for the generous support of donors who are making a major difference for kids with mental illness. Alliance Data made a generous gift of $750,000, enabling Children’s Colorado to launch a data warehouse that tracks research on pediatric mental health services and outcomes. Alliance Data understands how data can illuminate deep insights and opportunities to solve critical issues in our communities. Because of Alliance Data, Children’s Colorado can now more effectively identify key trends and best practices in pediatric mental health. Thanks to a $2.8 million grant from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, Children’s Colorado will continue to develop the infrastructure to make lasting change in the delivery of pediatric mental health care. With this generous grant, Children’s Colorado will lead a statewide assessment of available treatment options and develop training materials for primary care providers. Part of this Colorado Attorney General grant will support our partner, Mental Health Cynthia Coffman Colorado, to leverage their expertise in this shared vision. Young people in southern Colorado will now have better access to mental health services thanks to The Denver Foundation. A $500,000 gift through the Colorado Health Access Fund will support the hiring of a psychiatrist and several counselors to join the team at the new Children’s Hospital Colorado in Colorado Springs, set to open in 2019. With these new providers, an estimated 1,000 additional kids and teens will be able to access mental health care – many of whom might not otherwise have any treatment options.
Continued on page 10 CourageIs.org
gaps in care and best practices in pediatric mental health. Also critical to solving the mental health crisis is clinical research. Philanthropy allows us to enhance our understanding of mental illness and identify best practices in care delivery. By studying the brain, we can better pinpoint diagnoses and develop more targeted therapies so that kids don’t have to waste time with unsuccessful treatments. “Our kids and teens are suffering because of barriers to care. We need donor support to implement our bold vision to improve children's mental health, now and for generations to come,” said Dr. Doug Novins, chair of the Pediatric Mental Health Institute and the Cannon Y. and Lyndia K. Harvey Chair in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
After undergoing treatment at the Pediatric Mental Health Institute, Cora is now on the road to healing.
After struggling with her eating disorder for years, Cora was finally referred to the Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Colorado. She entered a five-week treatment program, supported by her family. It wasn’t easy — many days she wanted to quit — but her caregivers never gave up on her. Two years later, Cora continues on the path to healing and courageously tells her story to raise community awareness for the need for funding. “I was shocked by how very few good mental health services there are for kids,” Cora said. “We need better services. Nothing will change unless we take action.”
The State of Pediatric Mental Health in Colorado
Kids in Colorado with a diagnosable mental illness
Percent of kids with a mental illness who receive professional care
Colorado’s nationwide ranking for accessibility to pediatric mental health services
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Colorado youth ages 10-24
1 to 7,000
Ratio of pediatric psychiatrists to children in Colorado
Help Mental health problems are common and treatable. It’s time to take action so more kids and teens have access to high-quality mental health care.
Will you be a part of the solution? Donate to Children's Hospital Colorado's Pediatric Mental Health Institute* at pmhi.org. *G ifts of $250 of more may qualify for the Colorado Enterprise Zone Tax Credit
Helping Kids, One Cupcake at a Time King Soopers and City Market Give Back Standing in front of nearly 1,300 people at last year’s annual Children’s Gala, Children’s Hospital Colorado Patient Ambassador Kaley told the guests about her rare form of skeletal dysplasia. Despite undergoing dozens of surgeries, she said she had always remained positive and even developed a special talent for baking. “I love to bake cupcakes and hope to help kids the way Children’s Colorado helped me,” she said. Sitting in the Gala audience was Dennis Gibson, President of King Soopers and City Market, one of Colorado’s leading grocery chains and a longtime corporate partner of Children’s Hospital Colorado. He listened in awe as this extraordinary young girl spoke with a confidence far beyond her 9 years. Right then, Dennis knew he wanted to do something to help kids like Kaley.
Kaley's love of baking has helped raise thousands for Children's Hospital Colorado.
Soon after the Gala, Dennis introduced himself to Kaley’s family and shared an idea. What if King Soopers and City Market sold Kaley’s cupcakes at its in-store bakeries and donated the proceeds to Children’s Colorado? Kaley was thrilled, and last spring, “Kaley’s Kupcakes” become a reality. King Soopers and City Market worked with Kaley to develop the special edition cupcakes and sell them during the first week of every month at all store locations across Colorado. One hundred percent of the profits are donated to Children’s Colorado, and the cupcakes have already raised more than $20,000.
A Generous Partnership This isn’t the first time King Soopers and City Market have made a difference for kids. Since 2012, the company’s employee giving program has given team members the option to donate a portion of their paychecks to Children’s Colorado. The company also holds a campaign each January that invites customers to donate to Children’s Colorado while paying at the register. “It is amazing to see what Children’s Colorado has done for the community,” said Adam Williamson, director of corporate affairs at King Soopers and City Market. “Families facing terrible diseases and scary situations can have the best experience possible because of Children’s Colorado.”
“Kaley’s contagious smile and positive attitude inspire us all. We are proud to work with her in raising money for Children’s Colorado, as we work together to feed the human spirit.” – DENNIS GIBSON, PRESIDENT OF KING SOOPERS AND CITY MARKET
Today, King Soopers and City Market have more than 153 locations throughout Colorado. As the company has grown, so has its commitment to giving back. Children’s Colorado recently joined King Soopers and City Market in their Zero Hunger Zero Waste program. Along with its parent company Kroger, the company plans to provide 3 billion donated meals nationwide to people facing hunger by 2025.
Dennis Gibson speaks at the launch of the Healthy Roots Garden at Children's Colorado.
In addition, King Soopers and City Market recently sponsored the creation of the Healthy Roots Garden on the Children’s Colorado grounds at the Anschutz Medical Campus, which will grow fresh produce for the hospital’s cafeteria and the broader community. “King Soopers and City Market care about their community and make a tremendous difference for our patient families,” said Cary Larger, senior vice president of community fundraising at Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation. “Their support helps provide for some of the greatest needs at Children’s Colorado.”
Throughout their 40+ year-partnership, King Soopers and City Market have generously given $1.8 million to Children’s Colorado, helping to provide world-class care, research for new treatments, and critical support services for patients and their families.
Grateful Family Invests in Research Children’s Hospital Colorado saved their daughter’s life. Now the Culshaw family is paying it forward.
That was the grim chance of survival that doctors gave Peter and Cathy Culshaw’s first child, a dark-haired baby girl named Alexa, one day after she was born in 1992.
Alexa was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition called persistent pulmonary hypertension, which wasn’t allowing her lungs to function properly. As a result, her body was being starved of oxygen. At the time, there was no cure — and no proven treatment — for her condition. Alexa was quickly transferred to Children’s Hospital Colorado, where doctors believed she would have the best chance for survival.
There, the Culshaws faced two excruciating options, each with its own set of risks. The first option, a heart-lung bypass, had inconsistent results and likely long-term side effects. The second was to try a new therapy for her condition — inhaled nitric oxide — which had been recently pioneered by two Children’s Colorado physicianscientists, Dr. John Kinsella and Dr. Steven Abman, both early in their careers. Alexa would be only the 13th patient ever given this new therapy, but the Culshaws decided to take a chance. The novel treatment worked.
“One of the many reasons we support research is that it raises the standard of clinical care by cultivating better doctors.” – PETER CULSHAW, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL COLORADO FOUNDATION TRUSTEE AND DONOR
Alexa was the first baby to stay on a nitric oxide ventilator until she could breathe on her own. Today, more than two decades later, the experimental therapy that saved Alexa is now the international standard of care for newborns with her pulmonary condition and has saved thousands of infants’ lives around the globe. “If it wasn’t for Dr. Abman and Dr. Kinsella and the research they did, I’m not sure that my daughter would be alive,” said Peter.
26-year old Alexa (left), whose life was saved by an innovation pioneered at Children's Colorado, with her father, Peter; sister, Kelly; and mother, Cathy
Funding for Early-Career Physician-Scientists The Culshaws’ passion for supporting the research of earlycareer medical investigators was ignited the day Alexa’s life was saved. They made a gift to support research, helping to establish the Nitric Oxide Fund, and have been champions of the hospital’s groundbreaking studies and physicianscientists ever since. Early on, the Culshaws recognized that in an environment where research funding is growing ever more scarce nationwide — especially within pediatrics — it is extremely difficult for junior-level investigators to secure the resources required to pursue pioneering ideas. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics found that nearly 60 percent of the grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are awarded to senior-level physician-scientists. This gap in financing for early-career researchers means that novel studies go unfunded, cutting-edge treatments might not be discovered and thousands of children might not have the chance for lifesaving care. “The great, creative ideas for breakthroughs often happen earlier on in our lives, and we want to support that," said Peter.
Another Quest for a Cure The Culshaws’ desire to help early-stage researchers continued to grow over time, especially after Alexa’s younger sister, Kelly, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 8. “Your whole world becomes numbers,” said Cathy, of Kelly’s chronic condition. “You go from being parents to nurses overnight. Pharmaceutical companies are doing research into ways to manage the disease, but with the research at Children’s Colorado, we hope to cure the disease, not just manage it.” Inspired by their daughters’ experiences, Peter and Cathy funded the Culshaw Family Young Investigator Award in Juvenile Diabetes in 2012. The first recipient of the award — $50,000 per year for three years — was Dr. Maki Nakayama, whose research focused on preventing and curing Type 1 diabetes. This year’s award was given to Dr. Holger Russ, who is studying how stem cells can be used to treat diabetes by creating new insulin-producing cells — which ultimately, could be part of a cure for the disease.
“We hope to create a runway for young people to pursue new ideas like these incredible innovations,” said Peter. The Culshaws have raised more than $575,000 as annual participants in the Courage Classic Bicycle Tour, designating most of these funds to the Research Institute. In 2017 and 2018, Peter was the top individual fundraiser for Courage Classic, and the family recently directed their fundraising to establish two new awards for early-career physicianscientists: the Culshaw Family Surgical Innovation Scholarship and the Culshaw Family Heart-Lung Award.
Peter Culshaw has been riding in the Courage Classic since 1999.
Peter has served on the Children’s Hospital Colorado Board of Directors and currently serves on the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation Board of Trustees and the Research Institute committee, which he chaired for a decade. Peter says the goal of his family’s giving and service to Children’s Colorado has been to elevate the importance and perception of the hospital’s commitment to research. “Why do we support research? One of the many reasons is that it raises the standard of clinical care by cultivating better doctors,” Peter said. “Do you want your child treated by the person who read the book or by the person who wrote the book? My view is that the more people there are at Children’s Colorado who have written the book, the better the care is.” For the Culshaws, these research discoveries mean one daughter was given a chance at life and another daughter has hope that her condition may one day be cured. And hundreds of thousands of children and families across the country and around the world will benefit from the groundbreaking research being conducted at Children’s Colorado along the way.
Join the Culshaws by making a gift to our Research Institute today. Donate at ChildrensColoradoFoundation.org/give
2018 Culshaw Family Research Award Recipients The 2018 Culshaw Family Surgical Innovation Scholarship was awarded to Dr. Megan Adams, a pediatric transplant surgeon focused on reducing the risk of blood clots in children after a liver transplant.
The 2018 Culshaw Family Heart-Lung Award was awarded to Dr. Clare Paterson, a developmental psychobiologist, who is investigating the in-utero origins of behavioral conditions, including autism, ADHD and schizophrenia.
VOICES OF COURAGE The children who serve as our Patient Ambassadors have endured more health challenges than most people experience in a lifetime. And yet, these courageous kids and their families are committed to giving back by raising money for Children’s Hospital Colorado.
We asked our ambassadors, “Why is it important to give to Children’s Hospital Colorado?” Here’s what they had to say.
“I support Children’s Hospital Colorado because they changed my life. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, I was very scared. All the nurses and doctors helped me through the hardest time of my life. I want to be able to repay them and make sure they know how grateful I truly am. They showed me that there’s always good, even amid the bad things.”
– Faith Diagnosis: Stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (cancer) Age: 17 Fundraising goal: $1,000 Raising money for: New Hospital in Colorado Springs
“It is so important to support Children’s Hospital because they do amazing things to help kids just like me! I love to give back to this hospital because they saved my life.” – Lillian 14
Lillian Diagnosis: Celiac Disease Age: 10 Fundraising goal: $5,000 Raising money for: Center for Celiac Disease
Diagnosis: Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Age: 1 Fundraising Goal: $10,000 Raising Money for: Colorado Fetal Care Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
“Children’s Hospital Colorado is such an amazing place, and the resources they offer parents in the most frightening time of their lives is unparalleled. We are passionate about giving back to Children’s Colorado because they gave us our son. We will do anything we can to ensure that other parents in our situation can get the same care. Knowing that you have the best children’s hospital right in your own backyard — that is worth investing in.”
– Debbie, Eli’s mom
“I think that it is important to support Children’s Hospital Colorado because they save children’s lives, including mine. I am passionate about giving back because they gave me — and many other kids — a second chance at living life.”
Diagnosis: Osteosarcoma (cancer) Age: 14 Fundraising Goal: $10,000 Raising Money for: Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and Orthopedics Institute
Every year, the community nominates patients to serve as Children’s Hospital Colorado Ambassadors. The children selected for this honor display extraordinary strength and perseverance in the face of tremendous medical challenges. Throughout the year, Ambassadors and their families share their stories, represent Children’s Colorado at fundraising events and raise money for the hospital.
HELP THEM REACH THEIR GOALS Our 2018 Patient Ambassadors have collectively raised more than $55,000 for Children’s Colorado. Go to ChildrensColoradoFoundation.org/ambassadors to learn more and donate.
Children’s Gala Raises $2.4 Million Patient Ambassadors Lillian and Thomas at Children's Gala
Supporters from across the Rocky Mountain region gathered together on Sept. 29 for the 41st annual Children’s Gala, an elegant celebration benefiting the patients and families of Children’s Hospital Colorado. The event brought together generous donors, courageous patients and devoted caregivers for an incredible evening that raised $2.4 million for the hospital. This annual black-tie affair celebrates a history of excellence in pediatric care and toasts the generous community partners who are building a bright future for children’s health. This year’s Gala was hosted by business leaders and philanthropists Bev and Bruce Wagner, whose family and family business, Wagner Equipment Co., have a longstanding commitment to the mission of Children’s Colorado.
Thank you to all the donors who made this year’s Children’s Gala a great success!
1 1 From left: Jen Darling, President of Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation; Jena Hausmann, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital Colorado; Maya, a 2018 Patient Ambassador; and Marley, Maya’s sister and bone marrow transplant donor rom left: Hecky and Kristen Heckendorf with 2 F Children’s Gala hosts Bruce and Bev Wagner 3 Patient Ambassadors Maddy and Nate share their stories on stage with event emcee and former Denver Bronco Reggie Rivers
4 Children’s Gala included a high-energy performance by famed ‘90s rap group Salt-N-Pepa 5 Native Coloradan and rising musical star Zach Heckendorf headlined the Children’s Gala 6 Doug and Laura Wright, Chair of the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation Board of Trustees 7 Guests enjoy cocktail hour at Children’s Gala
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HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS There is no good time for a child to be in the hospital, but holidays are often hardest on patients and their families. Here, your generosity can help kids like 7-year-old Sophie and her twin sister, Gwenyth, feel more at home for the holidays. A gift of $300 can provide a week’s worth of meals for a patient’s family, leaving them one less thing to worry about. For that, we are all grateful.
Can provide a week’s worth of meals for a patient’s family
Can fuel lifesaving local transport on our specially equipped helicopter
Can purchase 50 flu vaccines
Can pay for specialized equipment for premature babies
Donate today to make spirits brighter now and year-round: GiveComfortandJoy.org
Anschutz Medical Campus 13123 E. 16th Avenue, Box 045 Aurora, CO 80045
NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID DENVER, CO PERMIT NO. 3280
Donate on Colorado Gives Day TUESDAY, DEC. 4 Your gift makes spirits bright at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Schedule your Colorado Gives Day donation today: ColoraodoGives.org/ childrenshospitalcolorado
Children’s Hospital Colorado is the region’s only nonprofit pediatric hospital. We rely on generous donors like you to provide the best care to every child who needs us. Thank you for your support!