On Tuesday, October 11th, Boston Children’s Hospital and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus announced that a $500,000-dollar donation was given to each organization, by NHLer Nick Foligno and his family. The incredible gift will be placed towards supporting heart care and cardiovascular research.
The captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets and his wife required the aid of heart specialists at these two organizations. The reason? Their daughter, Milania Foligno was suffering with a fatal congenital heart defect.
Milana, born on October 14th 2013, was diagnosed with the illness at the age of three weeks by Nationwide Children’s, while Boston Children’s conducted the surgery that saved her life.
Nick Foligno commented on the gift in a statement, noting that at from the start of Milana’s journey, one constant remained: the Foligno family knew they wanted to aid others who found themselves in a situation similar to theirs. He goes on to say it was important to his family that they help raise awareness for fetal cardiology and congenital heart defects so that other families could understand the conditions and have a chance to fight for their children as well.
Sportsnet reported that Janelle Foligno, Malina’s mom and Nick’s wife, stated that the family had wanted the donations to be anonymous, however each hospital voiced the idea that releasing this publicly could create a significant impact. She goes on to say that they are happy with what they decided on and are hoping they can increase awareness around congenital heart defects and the incredible work that is done by these two hospitals and many more around the world.
While there have been many things to stress about over the years, the good news is, the family has something to celebrate. In the next few days, sweet Milana will be turning three years old. Let the festivities for the Foligno family begin!