Caring individuals and families from around the country support Children's Hospital Central California. Many have seen and been personally touched by what we do for kids. All believe in our overriding mission to do everything we can to improve children's health in our valley.
Matty Matoian and Family
Successful owners of OK Produce for three generations, Mathias "Matty" Matoian and family want to help Children's meet the increasing medical needs of Central Valley kids. Their $400,000 donation to the Hospital's expansion project as part of the Campaign for Children's is doing just that.
"I have always wanted to make a gift to Children's and this is the time to keep the Hospital growing," said Matty. Everyone raves about Children's.
Matty also speaks from personal experience. Children's treated his cousin's 4-year-old son's severe dog bite. "The doctors did an incredible job and saved his eye," he said. Matty added that the recent arrival of his first grandchild reminds him of the importance of having experienced pediatric specialists nearby.
The Berberian Family
In 2009, the Berberian family helped us launch The Campaign for Children’s with a $250,000 gift. They are dear to our hearts for many reasons, including the fact that one of their children grew up to become a part of Children’s own family.
“Our whole family came here growing up, our experience here was always good,” said Erin Berberian-Gleason, who has been an employee at the Hospital since 1996, starting out as an intern, then becoming a nurse and now a nurse practitioner. “After I did my rotation at the old hospital, I knew I wanted to be a pediatric nurse here.”
There are also other reasons that Erin gives. When Erin’s brother passed away from head trauma, the family created a memorial fund in the Hospital’s Trauma Department as a way to honor their son. “He was a student doctor and he really loved children,” said Erin. “We thought it’s what he would have wanted. It’s what his work would have been.” The Berberian family also feels it is crucial that children can get the best pediatric care close to home. "I think it's so important, and hope that it will spur others to give," said Erin.
Scott and Debbie Amey
Dr. Gary Magram, Children’s medical director of neurosurgery, works to improve the treatment of hydrocephalus by developing better devices and instruments. With more than 20 years’ surgical experience, Dr. Magram is an expert on shunt design, holding several device patents. But he wants to do more, and a grateful patient family has decided to help.
Scott and Debbie Amey of Virginia donated $100,000 to provide seed money for the Hospital’s neurosurgery fund. They say their daughter, Kara, now 17, is alive and going to college next year because of Dr. Magram’s expertise. Dr. Magram treated Kara on the East Coast before coming to Children’s. “He saved my life,” agreed Kara.
“Dr. Magram has the vision and skill to develop better and more affordable shunts for patients here and around the world,” said Debbie. “That’s worth investing in."
Bill and Linda Smittcamp
Bill and Linda Smittcamp, co-chairs of The Campaign for Children’s, had their own personal experiences at Children’s Hospital following their son’s near-fatal accident. “It was March 7, 1993 when Children’s Hospital became a necessity and a true blessing for my family," said Bill Smittcamp. “My son Bradley and I, along with Linda and Blair, were on a beautiful Sunday afternoon bike ride that turned into a horrendous chapter in our lives. Bradley and I were hit from behind by a drunk motorcycle rider going in excess of 65 mph.” “Suddenly I had both a husband and a son in two different hospitals,” said Linda. "And this hospital, this children’s hospital, saved my son’s life.”
The Smittcamp's commitment of time was given an exclamation point with a $500,000 early gift to The Campaign. "The opportunity to invest in one of the community's greatest resources is truly rewarding," said Bill, President of Wawona Frozen Foods.
Jane Seddon Willson
Georgia philanthropist Jane Seddon Willson donated $1 million to Children's providing the seed to grow an endowment to help the Willson Heart Center continue providing exceptional care to California's children. "I think Children's Hospital is a wonderful place," said Mrs. Willson. "They do so many things to help little babies and fix their hearts, and they keep taking care of them until they're grown. I'm just so impressed with what they do."