(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.”