In the mid 1920s, a boy named Del was diagnosed with polio at the age of 3. He received care at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City, the eighth location to be opened by the Shriners fraternity, which established the fledgling health care system in 1922 largely in response to a polio epidemic. As Del was one of 11 siblings and his father had recently passed away, Del’s mom had to leave him at the hospital and was often unable to visit for months at a time. Eventually, the child went home with a prosthetic leg. Later in life, he used a wheelchair, but he never let anything slow him down.
Over the years, Del often spoke of his love and gratitude for the fraternity, doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers who changed the trajectory of his life.
In November 2019, Del’s son, Kurt, reached out to the donor relations department at Shriners Hospitals for Children headquarters in Tampa, Florida, to inquire about potential donor-related naming opportunities in the health care system that would honor his father. Although Kurt and his wife, Karen, live in Kearney, Missouri, and closest to Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis, they felt strongly about making a memorial gift to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City, where Kurt’s dad had received care so many years ago.
Wanting to provide the family with excellent options, Nathan Clark, director of development, and Hospital Administrator Kevin Martin, brainstormed on potential naming opportunities for their gift. Hospital staff also searched for information regarding Del’s time at the hospital. Imagine how excited the family was when hospital staff were able to locate Kurt’s dad’s records.
When Kurt and his wife visited family in Salt Lake City, Utah, they visited the Shriners Hospital. Clark and Martin gave the family a tour and shared the story of the evolution of the hospital since its establishment in 1925. The couple learned about Kurt’s father’s time as a patient and were moved to discover what a profound impact the hospital had in helping him live a happy and productive life.
Ultimately, Kurt committed to name the hospital’s Wheelchair Therapy Services Office Suite with his gift.
It was the combined work of multiple people across departments that secured this generous first-time gift, which will be such a benefit to Shriners Hospitals for Children. We are so grateful for all the donors who support our health care system and glad to assist them in determining how they can best support us.
More Ways to Give
- Make a monthly gift online. Gifts can be designated for a specific health care location.
- Join the Annual Giving Program. By making an annual gift to Shriners Hospitals for Children, you help ensure that we can continue to provide quality medical care to children, conduct innovative research and offer educational programs to future generations of medical professionals.
- Make a Legacy of Love gift. Give in honor or memory of a loved one.
To learn more about the many other ways to give to Shriners Hospitals for Children, including planned gifts, gifts of appreciated securities, real estate and corporate giving opportunities, call donor development at 866-958-6277 or visit lovetotherescue.org.