Last November, Frazer and Dana Gieselmann had to do the unthinkable. They had to say goodbye to their 6-year-old daughter, Milla, who passed away from a rare neurodegenerative disease. Though they were consumed with grief, they had to keep going. Milla’s 5-and 8-year-old sisters were depending on them, and they were grieving, too. So they turned to us for help through our Kemmons Wilson Family Center for Good Grief, where the staff guided them through this unimaginable time.
Just four months later, thanks to the Center for Good Grief staff’s remarkable work, the Gieselmanns turned to us again, this time to help ensure others benefited from the same care they received at the grief center. Their support helped establish The Kemmons Wilson Family Center for Good Grief, Milla’s House, which will open in Midtown Memphis this summer. This Center, like the one that helped the Gieselmanns, will provide grief services free of charge while honoring the memory of a precious little girl.
A similar spirit of generosity emerged in Jonesboro, where NEA Baptist physicians led the effort to establish that city’s first grief center. They, along with a grant of $250,000 from the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation, and additional generous gifts from Mr. and Mrs. Chris Fowler, Mid-America Transplant Foundation and Gamble Home Furnishings —contributed enough to do that. The NEA Center for Good Grief will open in October.
The Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation, along with many other generous individuals, like you, helped make all of this possible. The Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation provided the lead gift to build our Center for Good Grief in Collierville, a facility that bears their name. That model, which has proven so successful, is one on which the two new centers will be developed, under Angela Hamblen Kelly’s leadership.
Last week, I told you about some of the new ways our team is treating heart disease in our hospitals. Thanks to this collection of community caregivers, along with the diligent work of the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation and the NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation, we will help heal broken hearts in another way.
I’ll keep you updated on the progress of these centers, but in the meantime, if you want to share your thoughts or experiences with the grief centers, please email me, tweet me @jason_m_little, or follow me on LinkedIn.