Nationwide Children’s Hosts Book Signing & Reading with Children’s Book Author

Author Carole Mac Supplies 130 Comfort Kits to Nationwide Children’s Palliative Care Unit

April 25, 2023
Author Carole Mac and Lisa Humphrey, MD

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Author Carole Mac visited Nationwide Children’s Hospital on Friday, April 21to read her children’s book The Gift of the Ladybug to two hospital patient families and kick off her donation program at the hospital.

Mac supplied 130 comfort kits that include a hardcover copy of The Gift of the Ladybug and a ladybug plush toy to the children in the Palliative Care Unit at Nationwide Children’s. The book was inspired by her son’s terminal diagnosis.

“Nationwide Children’s Hospital nurses, therapists, doctors, and palliative care team took exceptional care of my son T.J.,” said Carole. “I will never forget it, and I’m thrilled to give back to such a special organization.”

Lisa Humphrey, MD, director of hospice and palliative care medicine at Nationwide Children’s, accepted the donation. Dr. Humphrey said she has used the children’s book in her work with patients over the last decade. 

The Gift of the Ladybug allows me to have a tool in my toolbox that I can confidently put forth and know that’s it’s going to help the family,” Dr. Humphrey said.

The Kidder family of Rachel, Ryan, and their daughter Ellie, and Chelsea Messina and her daughter, Reagan also took part in the book reading. The Kidder family recently moved to Columbus from Canton, Ohio to be closer to the hospital. The Messina family commutes into downtown Columbus from Newark, Ohio for care.

“I could not have loved these families more,” Mac said. “All three of us moms shared stories of our experiences at Nationwide Children’s, and we bonded over our children’s journeys.” 

The donation was made possible in part by Mac’s friend and former Bexley High School classmate, Matthew Grossman, founder and chief executive office of the boutique merchandise agency, Idegy. Grossman suggested that Mac bring her Gift of the Ladybug Donation Program to her hometown of Columbus, Ohio and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He donated the first 100 comfort kits.

The community can get involved by donating the book and plush ladybug to Nationwide Children’s patients by visiting the author’s website.

As a resident of New York City, Mac is an author, food personality, sommelier, and executive producer of shows on food and wine. She wrote The Gift of the Ladybug following her son’s terminal diagnosis. Inspired by the joyful way her son lived, this story helps families accept difficult diagnosis with peace, power, and love. The book became an Amazon bestseller on its launch day and has inspired a national movement encouraging acceptance for medically challenged children. The National Gift of the Ladybug Day takes place annually on January 28 (T.J.’s birthday). 

“My intention with this donation program is to comfort all children with critical illnesses,” said Mac. “I want them to know that they are perfect exactly as they are.”

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-23 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit free-standing pediatric health care systems providing unique expertise in pediatric population health, behavioral health, genomics and health equity as the next frontiers in pediatric medicine, leading to best outcomes for the health of the whole child. Integrated clinical and research programs, as well as prioritizing quality and safety, are part of what allows Nationwide Children’s to advance its unique model of care. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 14,000 that provides state-of-the-art wellness, preventive and rehabilitative care and diagnostic treatment during more than 1.6 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded free-standing pediatric research facilities. More information is available at