Riley’s Big Day

It’s been one of those weeks so filled with highs and lows that I am incredibly thankful I have an uneventful 3-day weekend to decompress.

On Wednesday my work with Riley Children’s Foundation led to a day filled with tears, excitement, and very sore feet. My team helped organize a huge celebration of the Simon Family Tower – which is essentially the new Riley Hospital for Children. The facility is beautiful and impressive, with every detail designed to make families feel more comfortable during their hospital stay. The celebration was long-awaited and filled with emotion.

But I was caught off guard by just how touching it was to hear the stories of former “Riley Kids” as old as 92. Backstage, they shared with me how their lives have been forever changed – and in many cases saved – by their time at Riley. Seeing patients representing each decade of Riley’s history file onto the stage to help celebrate the newest chapter was a lump-in-the-throat moment for sure.

After that long day on my sore feet, I had to dash straight to the kids’ school for “Meet the Teacher” night, then finally home to check homework, get a few quick snuggles and tuck my kids into bed. I knew they couldn’t understand exactly what I had done at work, or why I cared so much about it. Although my kids have never needed the expertise of Riley Hospital, it gives me comfort to know it is there, just a few miles away, just in case. It gives me pride to devote my professional life to helping a great children’s hospital provide the very best care to every single child who needs it. It gives me joy to get to know families and kids who so willingly give back to the hospital where they experienced some of the toughest moments in their lives.

And it gives me peace to know that even on my most taxing day of work, I can be there for my own kids at the end of it.

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