By Jennifer Paradis Behle

Jennifer Paradis Behle standing Since I am a mom to five kids, my family has used our fair share of CHOP services through the years! Our son Oliver, now 8, was born with clubbed feet. He was treated every two weeks at CHOP for the first six months of his life and has had multiple surgeries there. We always knew CHOP was a “wow” kind of a place, but the care Oliver has received through the years is truly extraordinary.

When I heard CHOP was opening a hospital in King of Prussia, my first thought was, “Yes!” Because minutes matter in an emergency, and the western suburbs don’t have a pediatric ER or PICU. Because with critically ill children, driving from the suburbs multiple times a week takes a toll. Even for routine things like a broken arm, this new hospital will help more kids access world-class care. Having this capability in our backyard brings peace of mind and will be a game changer for our region.

Five years ago, my friend’s son was diagnosed with leukemia at an ER in California while on vacation. The physicians there told her to thank her lucky stars she lives in Philadelphia, and to get on the next flight home and go straight to CHOP from the airport. Her story of how beautifully, respectfully and successfully her son was treated at CHOP is very powerful.

Kids are kids, not adults, and need specialty care designed just for them. A dedicated pediatric hospital has the specialized expertise and clinical environment where kids get the best care.

I chose to lead the capital campaign for CHOP’s new hospital because it will deliver top-notch care to more families — all with a peaceful, community-hospital feeling. The patient experience at CHOP is second to none.

My family is all in on CHOP, as a patient family and as donors. We chose to give to the PICU welcome and waiting area — to lend our name to a space where families gather in support of the sickest children at the hospital — because compassion is one of our core values. CHOP gave us a gift as well: the opportunity to discover what matters most to our family. Philanthropy always provides gifts in both directions.