East Lansing’s Art for Charlie Foundation donates $20,000

Published: March 21, 2013

East Lansing's Art for Charlie Foundation presented a $20,000 donation to the Sparrow Foundation during a recent event in the lobby of Sparrow Hospital. At the ceremony were (from left) Charlie Waller, his mother Abigail, father John, Dr. Stephen Guertin, M.D., Medical Director of the Sparrow Children's Center, pediatric nurse Cheri Salazar, pediatric oncologist Dr. Bradd Hemker, M.D., and Jodi Spicer, of the Art for Charlie Foundation.

East Lansing's Art for Charlie Foundation, created by a local family with a terminally ill child, marked its first anniversary this week by donating $20,000 to the Sparrow Foundation to fund pediatric palliative care at Sparrow.

Named in honor of Charlie Waller, the four-year-old East Lansing boy diagnosed with terminal brain stem cancer, the Foundation raises money through art events and art sales to provide hospice care for very ill children and to help families who suffer from the loss of a child.

The Art for Charlie Foundation held a successful art show and auction in November and plans a similar event this year.

Charlie Waller himself, displaying his fighting spirit in pirate garb, helped present the ceremonial check this week. Accepting the donation on behalf of Sparrow was Dr. Stephen Guertin, M.D., Medical Director of the Sparrow Children's Center.

"We are touched by this gift to Sparrow and appreciate the work of the Art for Charlie Foundation on behalf of all families who are living through this situation," Dr. Guertin said. "Charlie and the work of the Foundation will have lasting impact."

For more than a century,Sparrow has been a leader in caring for children. The first hospital in mid-Michigan to offer a dedicated children's unit, Sparrow today is home to the region's only full-service pediatric emergency department. As the region's Children's Miracle Network Hospital, Sparrow is able to provide the most advanced technology and treatment options in pediatric and neonatal care.

For more information on the Art for Charlie Foundation, check out its website, friendsofcharlie.com.