St. Mary’s Children’s Research Hospital
Bryan, Texas 68134
Date: 16 February 2016 Contact: Katarina DeFelice
For Immediate Release Director of Public Relations
Hope in Bloom
BRYAN, TEXAS: Pain. Suffering. Heartbreak. Three things St. Mary’s Children’s Research Hospital hopes to avoid for its patients. Instead, the world-renowned research hospital offers hope and renewal in an atmosphere surrounded by cascading waterfalls.
Today, St. Mary’s unveiled its new memorial garden designed to relieve the stress of childhood illness on residents and visitors. The garden commemorates founders Thomas and Rose Marie Donnelli and stands adjacent to the Italian American Helping Hand (ITAHH) pavilion.
This weekend, St. Mary’s and Target Department Stores host a “Valentine-ival” to brighten spirits and wrap the patients and families of St. Mary’s in love. The Target-sponsored, Valentine-themed carnival incorporates music, games and food along with learning and celebration. Local music group The Blenders perform as children and families munch on funnel cake, create love letter mailboxes and visit the new St. Mary’s School. Target resigned St. Mary’s School to better serve patients through bigger classrooms, new furniture and interactive SMART Boards™ .
St. Mary’s officials will also announce the completion of the $1 billion, five-year expansion that helps realize the dream of Thomas Donnelli that “no child should die in the dawn of life.” The expansion doubles St. Mary’s campus, modernizes radiation therapy in an adolescent setting and renews the commitment to family-centered care.
At the center of it all, the founders’ daughter Terri Donnelli smiles through tears of joy. “My parents are smiling in heaven knowing that today their dream to help children took a major step forward. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all those generous people who continue to work with the foundation to help us find cures and treatments for their devastating illnesses,” Donnelli said.
St. Mary’s Children’s Research Hospital opened in 1962 with Thomas Donnelli at the helm. The hospital treats more than 5,700 patients a year, publishes 700 papers a year and remains the only pediatric cancer research center where families never receive a bill for treatment.