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Planned Gift

Family Honors Sons' Lifesavers with a Planned Gift

A tile on the outdoor plaza at the Specialty Pediatric Center reads “For the Kids Fighting Cancer – Beresh Family.” It’s a tribute to Steve and Kellie Beresh’s teenage son, Jake, and serves a testament to the family’s ongoing commitment to Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. “Children’s saved Jake’s life, and we are forever grateful,” said his mother, Kellie. “No matter how much you give, you can never repay the caregivers for what they did for our family.”

The couple are members of Children’s planned giving society, The Poynter Society, becasue they have left a gift in their will to Children’s. Giving back to the hospital is important to them and something they wanted to instill in all three of their sons. In fact, the Bereshes have been donating money to Children’s ever since Jake was a 6-year-old kindergartener fighting for his life. Steve and Kellie vividly remember the day eight years ago when they took Jake, who was complaining of mild headaches, to his pediatrician’s office. The doctor sent Jake to Children’s for an MRI, which showed a lemon-sized tumor growing in his skull. Further testing revealed it was a malignant tumor called Ewing sarcoma. Because of the tumor’s location within the skull and brain and the potential for massive blood loss, Jake was given very little chance of surviving the surgery to remove the tumor. Expert pediatric neurosurgeons Leslie Hellbusch, M.D., and Mark Puccioni, M.D., were able to remove it. During the operation, Jake lost eight units of blood, but he surprised his caregivers and bounced back remarkably fast, leaving the hospital just five days later. A couple weeks later, Jake started a chemotherapy and radiation regimen that would last over the course of a year, with 65 overnight stays at Children’s and more than 280 days spent in clinic visits, blood transfusions and other treatments.

“Through all of that, Children’s became our home,” Kellie said. “When Jake was going through chemo, there was a lot of isolation due to his compromised immune system. The staff was always there for us. These people are second to none.” After more than a year of treatment, Jake was in remission. He returned to Children’s for scans every three months for the first five years, and experienced a few scares along the way. Now, he returns once a year in January for his annual check-up. At 16 years old, he’s enjoying the moments. “I don’t look at life as another day,” Jake said. “I live it to the fullest every day.”says.

Consider a gift to Children's Hospital & Medical Center in your will. To learn more...