Thank You Notes (Fall 2022)

Friday, December 16, 2022

Every day, donors like you make gifts of all sizes to build a healthier future for children and expectant mothers. Your support makes our hospital a special place for our patients and families, and we are tremendously grateful. 

Richard Frassetti Planned Ahead to Help Children 

There were few things that Richard Frassetti loved more than farming. When Richard passed away a few years ago, he was recognized for his many agricultural achievements. His obituary read, “Richard was known to say he ‘never worked a day in his life’ so great was his love for farming and the food industry.” 

Thanks to his thoughtful inclusion of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in his trust, Richard will also have a big impact on the future of children’s health. 

Richard grew up in a family of farmers. His grandfather and great-uncle emmigrated from Italy in the early 1900s and bought over 100 acres of land in Gilroy. His grandfather married and went on to run a dairy farm and grew vegetables on the property. Later, Richard’s parents, Henry and Alda Frassetti, lived on the family farm. Richard grew up watching his parents farm and was inspired to continue the family tradition in food production.  

After graduating from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Richard began his career with Sunsweet and eventually built a successful business called Hansa-Pacific Associates Inc. His company exported California produce including raisins, nuts such as almonds and pistachios, and canned tomatoes to countries all over the world.  

In addition to his main business venture, Richard continued to grow vegetables as co-owner of C & F Farms. He and his business partner farmed the Frassetti family’s land and other parcels they rented.  

“Richard always loved farming. That’s where his heart was,” says David Piccardo, a friend of Richard’s for nearly 30 years. They got to know each other when David served as controller at Hansa-Pacific Associates.  

“We would often talk about the ups and downs of farming—from market conditions to weather conditions. He always looked forward to the start of the growing season—and the end,” David adds with a laugh. 

Richard passed away in 2020 and is remembered by his sister, Diane, his niece and nephew, and other close relatives and friends. He left the majority of his estate to Packard Children’s Hospital. David, a certified public accountant, is responsible for administering his friend’s trust.  

“He didn’t have any children,” David explains. “He felt strongly that it should be donated to children.”  

In recognition of Richard’s generous gift to our hospital, David and his wife, Susan, recently chose to place a plaque in front of our hospital’s Harvest Café, which includes artwork showcasing the Bay Area’s agricultural history. The location honors the importance of farming to Richard and his parents. 

We’re grateful for the Frassetti family’s legacy of caring for the community and the land, which was carried forward by Richard. His generosity will benefit children and families for years to come. 

Family, Friends Scamper in Memory of Phoebe  

Like most first-time parents, Amber and Owen Lu were excited during their pregnancy with their daughter, Phoebe. But when their doctor ordered an ultrasound of Phoebe’s heart, they learned that their unborn baby had tetralogy of Fallot, a serious heart condition.  

Further testing linked Phoebe’s condition to a rare genetic disorder called CHARGE syndrome. That’s when Amber and Owen turned to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. “We were confident that Stanford was the right place for Phoebe,” says Amber.  

Phoebe was born Dec. 1, 2021, surrounded by an extensive care team. At first, she did well in the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU). But a month later, she went into heart failure and was put on a form of life support called ECMO in the hope that she could be transferred to a Berlin Heart. Once on a Berlin Heart, a tiny pump designed to maintain blood flow, Phoebe could be added to the transplant list to receive a new heart.  

However, moving Phoebe to the Berlin Heart proved more difficult than expected. Her care team—led by David Rosenthal, MD, director of the Pediatric Advanced Cardiac Therapies (PACT) program, and Michael Ma, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and surgical director of PACT—came up with a new strategy to put her on a hybrid between ECMO and the Berlin Heart.  

Phoebe improved in the weeks following the procedure, which helped her safely get off ECMO. Unfortunately, Phoebe’s health worsened, and after a little over three months in the CVICU, she passed away.  

“Although Phoebe’s time with us was shorter than any of us wished, she has made and will continue to make a significant impact at many levels, for our field, for our teams, and for each of us as individuals,” Ma told Phoebe’s family. Ma has shared his team’s hybrid “Mechanical Circulatory Support” strategy with other children’s hospitals.  

Last summer, Amber and Owen wanted to do something to help Rosenthal and Ma advance their research. They formed a team called the Phoebe Jeebies and raised over $2,600 in the Summer Scamper 5k and kids’ fun run. They also made their own gift. Thank you, Amber and Owen, for giving back to the programs that meant so much to you and Phoebe! 

Packard Doctor Supports Children with Transplants 

Ken Sutha, MD, PhD, has a unique connection to his patients. Not only is he a Stanford Medicine Children’s Health nephrologist who cares for children with kidney disease, he is also a two-time kidney transplant recipient. Recently, he had the opportunity to compete at the Transplant Games in San Diego.  

The Transplant Games are an Olympic-style competition for people with all kinds of transplants. “Growing up with kidney disease, I never imagined it would be possible to be competitive in any kind of sport, let alone win gold medals!” Ken says. “Thanks to the amazing power of transplant and my donors—including my living donor dad—I am thriving today.” 

This year was extra special for Ken as he celebrated the fourth anniversary of his kidney transplant. He used this opportunity to raise awareness about organ donations, celebrate the full and active lives that transplant allows people to live, and raise money to support pediatric dialysis and transplant programs. 

Hyundai Hope On Wheels Supports Cancer Researchers 

Hyundai Motor America has been a significant supporter of pediatric cancer research at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford for more than a decade through its Hyundai Hope On Wheels program. Every time a new vehicle is sold in the United States, the Hyundai dealer makes a donation. To date, Hyundai Hope On Wheels has given Packard Children’s more than $3.7 million to fund groundbreaking research.  

This year, Hyundai Hope On Wheels awarded $300,000 to Alice Bertaina, MD, PhD, and $200,000 to Adrienne Long, MD, PhD. Bertaina, section chief of the Pediatric Division of Stem Cell Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine and co-director of the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases at Packard Children’s, focuses her research on developing innovative approaches to stem cell transplantation. Long uses novel techniques to develop immunotherapies for pediatric solid tumors.  

At a check presentation in September, Mateo Ocampo, 18, expressed his heartfelt thanks for the treatment he received at Packard Children’s last year that helped him face acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  

“Thank you all for being part of my journey, and thank you, Hyundai Hope On Wheels, for donating to research so that hope and joy can be an option for other young people even after such a traumatic diagnosis,” said Mateo, who received a bone marrow transplant at our hospital six months after his diagnosis. Mateo shared his experience at our hospital, including the impact his social worker, Akilah Burford, MSW, had on his ability to move through treatment and thrive. 

Thank you, Hyundai Hope On Wheels, for supporting lifesaving cancer research. 

Gardner Capital Sponsors Summer Scamper 

Thank you, Gardner Capital! Last summer, Gardner Capital became the first-ever presenting sponsor of the Summer Scamper 5k and kids’ fun run, which raised more than $614,000 for patients and their families at Packard Children’s Hospital. Gardner Capital signed a three-year commitment of $225,000 that will ensure the continued success of this beloved community event.  

“There couldn’t be a better long-term partner to further our investment mandate of funding transformative pediatric research, precision medicine, and individualized care,” says Michael Gardner, CEO and president of Gardner Capital. “I’m looking forward to watching Summer Scamper flourish and can’t wait for 2023!” 

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