Published onChildren's View
We were not a patient family at CHOP, yet we wanted to do something when our daughter, Rachel, died suddenly 23 years ago from anaphylactic shock. A year after she died, we committed to honoring Rachel’s memory by establishing a seed allergy research fund at CHOP to investigate anaphylaxis and how it could be prevented for other families and children. We knew Rachel was allergic to dairy and eggs. As a result of the fund we started, CHOP researchers were able to begin a milk allergy study that was later expanded to egg and nut allergy studies.
Participating in this endeavor has been so rewarding. We have met with families whose children were part of the study and can now tolerate their food allergens, with little risk.
We are thrilled when we hear what's going on in the Allergy Program. Dr. Jonathan Spergel and his team are remarkable. CHOP is a welcoming place for the patient, with a general kindness and feeling of care. We have a current relationship with CHOP through our grandson, who has FPIES (food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome), which is an allergic condition. Our close involvement with the Allergy Board of Visitors also allows us to engage with the CHOP Foundation staff, who have been just as remarkable in their professionalism.
Philanthropy can have an enormous impact, from what you give to where you give. We chose to give to CHOP in response to a tragedy in our family. We continue to give to CHOP because philanthropy has the capacity to heal, grow and impact others. We hope to be a model for others through multiyear commitments and planned giving.
We still think of Rachel every day. We are privileged to be able to do something that will hopefully prevent similar tragedies. We believe good can be created from loss.