Nov. 12, 2019 – AJ Donohue would be proud. His name is now connected
with a fundraising campaign to renovate the
Southeast Georgia Health System Brunswick Campus pediatric inpatient unit. In partnership with the Health System Foundation, the AJ Donohue Foundation
is launching the “Leap For The Kids” fundraising campaign
and will match every dollar donated, up to $100,000.
If you give $25, the AJ Donohue Foundation will match your donation, bringing
it up to $50. “We’re hoping the community will step up,”
said John Donohue, AJ’s uncle and Foundation treasurer.
One of the first childhood cancer cases in Glynn County, AJ succumbed to
the disease at age 18. During his short life, he inspired all who met
him. “AJ was a charismatic young man who always thought of others.
He grew up in and loved Glynn County, but over a two year period, he spent
more than 200 nights at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville.
Unless you’ve experienced pediatric diseases, you don’t fully
understand how the family suffers. The pediatric unit renovation is an
ideal time for us to support high-level care in our community. It was
consistent with AJ’s vision,” Donohue said.
According to the Health System’s
Foundation Development Director Krista Robitz, the pediatric inpatient unit needs
a major renovation. “The 38-year-old facility isn’t inviting
and it shares a floor with the adult oncology inpatient unit.” Robitz
said the renovation will emulate the child- and family-friendly design
of Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville. “Children
and their families won’t feel like they’re on a clinical floor,” she said.
Following the Wolfson Children’s Hospital design strengthens a partnership
established in 2012. That year saw the opening of the
Wolfson Children’s at Southeast Georgia Health System. Every week, specialists from Jacksonville treat Glynn County children
with chronic medical conditions. Providing follow-up care in Brunswick
alleviates some of the burden on local families who usually seek care
in Jacksonville, as AJ’s family once did.
The pediatric inpatient unit redesign is part of the 20-20 Vision Campaign
to expand and renovate the Brunswick campus. “The fundamental (construction)
pieces were already in place, but we wanted to create a healing environment
that minimizes the disruption of family life. From our family’s
experience with AJ and other ill children, we know that the aesthetics
of the (hospital) environment have a huge impact,” Donohue said.
Robitz agreed. “We see it every day at the hospital. A soothing
environment is essential to healing the mind and spirit.”
AJ understood this, having watched his parents spend many restless nights
at his bedside, sleeping in upright chairs. He raised $50,000 to purchase
recliners so families could rest comfortably at their child’s bedside.
“He raised $50,000 by selling decals at $2 each,” Donohue
recalled. AJ’s achievement illustrates an important point: every
dollar makes a difference.
As John Donohue sees it, the Foundation’s challenge to the community
supports a broader vision for the future of Glynn County. “If Jacksonville
and Savannah can have this type of environment, why can’t Brunswick?
This is a step toward our long-term goal of making more treatments for
children available locally.”
Your dollars make a difference in the lives of local families. Please support
them by donating at
www.ajdonohuefoundation.org. You may also donate by calling 912-466-3360.