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Dempster Family Foundation Awards Nationwide Children’s Hospital Grant for First-Time 22q Conference for Families

Chicago Cubs pitcher, Ryan Dempster, and his wife are advocates for advancing the awareness and treatment of 22q


Columbus, OH - 3/6/2012

The Ryan and Jenny Dempster Family Foundation recently awarded 15 charitable organizations grants through its second annual grant cycle. Nationwide Children’s Hospital was one of the 15 organizations awarded funds.

Ryan Dempster, a pitcher for Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, and his wife, Jenny, have three children, a son, Brady and two daughters, Riley and Finley. Riley, now almost 3, was diagnosed with 22q at birth. 22q deletion syndrome – also known as DiGeorge Syndrome – is a chromosomal abnormality that can cause a wide range of health and developmental issues, including heart defects, problems with the gastrointestinal tract, immune and endocrine systems, differences in the palate, speech and language abnormalities, slow growth, and autism and/or developmental delays or learning disabilities.

The Dempster Family Foundation strives to lend support to charities and organizations supporting children with 22q and their families. Funds for the grant cycle were primarily raised through the Foundation’s annual fundraiser, “Casino Night” (held last July in Chicago), through TEAM DEMPSTER which includes partner fundraisers for the Foundation, as well as through generous donations from individuals throughout the year.

The grant directed to Nationwide Children’s will assist in the establishment of a first-time 22q patient/family conference slated for September 22, 2012 at the hospital. Alongside his team and 22q Center co-directors Adriane Baylis, PhD, and Joan Atkin, MD, Richard Kirschner, MD, chief of Plastic Surgery and co-director of the 22q Center at Nationwide Children’s, is grateful for the Dempster’s commitment to advancing the awareness and treatment of 22q.

“We are very grateful to The Ryan and Jenny Dempster Family Foundation,” noted Dr. Kirschner, also Professor of Clinical Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “It is a wonderful privilege to work with the Dempsters. Their commitment to advancing the awareness and care, treatment and research of 22q is changing lives. With their Foundation’s gift, we will be able to continue doing that here at Nationwide Children’s.”

“We would like to acknowledge the amazing support of our event sponsors, our TEAM DEMPSTER partners and friends of the Foundation who made our grant cycle possible,” said Ryan Dempster, President of the Foundation.

“We are proud to announce that we funded 15 amazing organizations aligned with our mission this year -- bringing our two year total of grants and gifts to more than $391,385 through the Dempster Family Foundation here in the U.S. and in Canada.”

For more information about the 22q Deletion Syndrome Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, visit NationwideChildrens.org/22q-deletion-syndrome-center, or visit the center’s Facebook page at facebook.com/22qcenter.

About The Ryan and Jenny Dempster Family Foundation
The Ryan and Jenny Dempster Family Foundation lends financial support to charities in the Chicago area and beyond which assist and comfort critically-ill children. The Foundation also supports youth baseball programs, military families and animal shelters; and promotes awareness of, and offers hope for, families of children diagnosed with a 22q11.2 deletion.

On the 22q side, the Foundation empowers organizations to help children with this disorder overcome difficult situations through: providing funding to continue research for early detection of this disorder in children; supporting programs about 22q that provide education, physical therapy and activity to promote long-term well-being; creating initiatives that build and instill confidence in these children; and developing a 22q network for families affected by this disorder to share stories and help navigate healthcare options and treatment.

For more information on how to apply for a grant through the Foundation, to view this year’s grant recipients, or to learn more about the Foundation itself, please visit the web site at: www.dempsterfoundation.org.

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