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Recent Updates Our Story Comprehensive Pediatric Rehabilitation Campaign Details Give Now

To make comprehensive pediatric rehabilitation care available to all of North Carolina’s children, close to home.

 

Recent Updates

Lee Fitch

Hi Fitch Family Pediatric Rehab Supporters! It’s me, Lee Fitch. I’m now in middle school and loving life! It’s been over three years since my big accident and I have made an incredible recovery. I give all the credit to God and the amazing healthcare I’ve received over the past two plus years. I hope every kid who has life threatening illnesses or experiences trauma, can receive the same level of care that got me to where I am today. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, cheering on the Tar Heels and of course playing my favorite sport, baseball! With my severe traumatic brain injury, I still struggle with some things in life. But, I continue working hard and doing my best. Thanks for your interest in bringing comprehensive pediatric rehabilitation to UNC Children’s! Every kid deserves to live their best life!

 

Jersey Mike’s Raises Over $800K For Fitch Family Rehab Program

Over 50 Jersey Mike’s Subs stores have come together across North Carolina to raise over $800,000 for the Fitch Family Comprehensive Pediatric Rehabilitation Program at UNC Children’s during the company’s Annual Month of Giving in March. The 51 local restaurants raised $417,304 during the 2023 campaign, and followed that up with $385,647 in 2024.

We are so incredibly thankful to the local restaurant owners who have chosen us as their charity to support during the March fundraiser. We would also like to give special thanks to Charlie Farris, a multi-unit owner in Chapel Hill that has done so much for us these last two years. We would not have raised nearly as much money without the support of his family and staff.

 

Design Matters

October 7 & 8, 2024 | The Carolina Inn | Chapel Hill, N.C.
Design Matters is a series of events celebrating design, art and architecture by presenting experts in these fields who will educate and entertain. All proceeds of the two-day event benefit the Fitch Family Comprehensive Pediatric Rehabilitation Program at UNC Children’s. MORE

 

Oak Foundation Provides $1 Million Grant To UNC Children’s

Oak Foundation LogoThe Oak Foundation’s financial support will help UNC Children’s with the initial step of development and implementation of the UNC Children’s Family Education and Support Team (FEAST).  Acquiring the right people who can focus on supporting our families.  FEAST will serve families of children with brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple trauma, near drowning, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, and other physical disabling conditions by identifying, educating, and supporting families of children with disabilities admitted to UNC Children’s.

 

Mack and Sally Brown Ladies Clinic Raises Funds For FFCPRPMack and Sallie Brown Ladies Clinch

The annual Mack and Sally Brown Ladies Football Clinic, held each year before the start of a Tar Heel football season, is a way for female members of the Carolina fan base to boost their knowledge of the game, while also hearing from Coach Brown and his coaching staff and players. The 2023 clinic raised over $10,000 for the Fitch Family Comprehensive Pediatric Rehabilitation Program at UNC Children’s. 

 

Theodore Yip, MDFaculty Spotlight: Theodore Yip, MD, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Theodore Yip, MD, is a pediatric physiatrist at UNC Children’s. He specializes in taking care of children with congenital and acquired disabilities. His day-to-day practice includes seeing children in clinic, working with physical, occupational, and speech therapists, providing bracing and equipment needs, and caring for children in the hospital who need rehabilitation. MORE

 

Head shot of Joshua Alexander, MD

Phase Two Update from Joshua Alexander, MD

Phase One Completed. On to Phase Two! It’s been another exciting year of fundraising, planning, and growth for the Fitch Family Comprehensive Pediatric Rehabilitation Program Fund. Thanks to the generosity of the Peterson Family Foundation and other generous donors, we’ve successfully completed Phase One of our Fundraising Campaign. MORE

 

 

Sally and Mack Brown with RamesesA Message of Gratitude from Sally and Mack Brown

Over the past year, Mack and I have enjoyed seeing all of you come forward to help raise awareness and funding for the Fitch Family Comprehensive Pediatric Rehabilitation Program at UNC Children’s. You have held fundraisers including Rivalry Roundup, where hundreds of you watched the Tar Heels pull out an exciting win at Cameron Indoor, participated in the “CloudBusters” baseball tournament and perhaps attended one of many other events including a youth-hosted tennis tournament, a swim meet, and events like Design Matters. MORE

Lee Fitch

Our Story

An Exceptional Need, Close to Home

The Chapel Hill community came together to support Lee Fitch, a 10-year-old boy, who was struck by a moving vehicle that broke his ribs, back, and skull, leaving him barely breathing and with a severe concussion.

Lee was stabilized at the UNC Children’s pediatric intensive care unit. But that was just the beginning. As PICU Chief Benny Joyner, MD, says of brain injuries like Lee’s: “Time is brain.”

The PICU saves lives. But rehabilitation determines the quality of that saved life. Joyner says rehab must start immediately and that the stakes are extremely high.

The Fitch Family
The Fitch Family

The Fitch Family was shocked to discover that UNC Children’s does not have a comprehensive pediatric rehabilitation center. After much worrying and scrambling, Lee was forced to travel by ambulance to Atlanta for rehab. He was extremely lucky that his family could make this happen and that his dad could come with him.

Unfortunately, due to scarcity and demand of rehab centers, many children like Lee Fitch in the Triangle aren’t so lucky.

At the time this campaign was started, and this sentence written, three children are waiting for an open bed in a rehab center. Day in and day out, they wait. Their conditions require that they remain hospitalized. The clock ticks. And time is brain.

Enough is enough.

Help us create the Fitch Family Comprehensive Pediatric Rehabilitation Program at UNC Children’s to ensure that kids like Lee receive the care they need right here in the center of North Carolina, allowing for healing while being surrounded by their loving family and community.

Every day, a child is admitted to UNC Children’s to receive care for a medical condition or traumatic event that has the potential to adversely affect them and their family for the rest of their lives.

Often, the excellent and timely care provided by pediatric experts from UNC Children’s leads to a full and complete recovery. In many other instances, however, hospitalized children can face months, years and sometimes lifetimes dealing with medical issues and dependence on others to complete even simple tasks.

Please join us today to change the course for countless kids.

For more information, please contact:

Jinhee Lee, Director of Development, Children’s
UNC Health Foundation
919-445-2949
jinhee_lee@med.unc.edu

Comprehensive Pediatric Rehabilitation

The Fitch Family Comprehensive Pediatric Rehabilitation Program at UNC Children’s aims to provide both inpatient and outpatient services across the entire continuum of care, including:

• Coordinated, multidisciplinary rehabilitative care that begins soon after initial admission to the hospital;
• Comprehensive acute inpatient pediatric rehabilitation;
• Day rehab programs; and
• Outpatient medical and therapy visits at a state-of-the-art pediatric rehabilitation center.

In addition, patients will receive virtual follow-ups through telemedicine, teletherapy and home health services, ensuring that these children regain the quality of life that has been threatened by disease or trauma.

The Fitch Family Comprehensive Pediatric Rehabilitation Program at UNC Children’s would include critical healing spaces and equipment as well as allow us to attract the best specialists in pediatric rehabilitation medicine (PRM), pediatric therapies and related specialties to Chapel Hill to treat, educate and support these families.

Our goal for all children across our state is the same as our goal for Lee – to provide the compassionate care necessary to grow up happy, healthy and independent. With your support, we can reach our $20 million goal and begin to create transformational change for vulnerable children and their families.

Campaign ProgressFFCPRP infographic

Our friends and supporters have made a huge impact on our progress! To date, we have completed the fundraising goal for Phase 1 and have raised an additional $1 million toward our Phase 2 goal of $3 million. These funds have enabled care coordination and family support, two vital aspects of treating pediatric rehab patients right here in Chapel Hill. We are now focusing on supporting the recruitment and retention of experts through endowments.

 

MAKE A GIFT TODAY

Your gifts can help change the lives of children like Lee and their families.