His Grace Foundation
His Grace Foundation provides physical, emotional and financial support to patients and families on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit of Texas Children's Hospital.
His Grace Foundation (HGF) was founded in 1997 by John and Erin Kiltz, whose daughter, Gracie, was a patient on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit (BMTU). They were surrounded by friends and family members who took care of their daily needs so that the Kiltz family could focus entirely on Gracie’s care. The Kiltz family soon realized that their strong support base was an exception, as most families were isolated from their friends and family members, attempting to tend to a great deal of responsibilities with limited time and resources. The Kiltz family determined to focus their efforts on “the forgotten unit,” with the goal of providing physical, emotional and financial support to families on the BMTU.
The BMTU, which has 15 beds, treats the "sickest of the sick” and is considered, by the medical professionals who oversee the care and treatment of these children, as the last hope for their healing. Typically, each year HGF serves 150 to 160 families whose children suffer from such life-threatening diseases as leukemia, neuroblastoma, SCIDS, sickle cell anemia, rare blood diseases, brain tumors and other types of cancer. Patients served by Texas Children’s Hospital come primarily from the greater Houston area, though some come from more distant locales.
The families whose children are receiving treatment in the BMTU are under enormous strain. The BMTU has strict guidelines with regard to extended family and visitor access due to the fragile condition of patients prior to and after transplant, and as a result, BMTU families are quite isolated for their child’s stay, which is at least four to six weeks, oftentimes longer. Without the support of extended family members and friends to help with daily needs, simply running errands or securing food for themselves can become a logistical struggle.
Designed to be “grace in the need of the moment,” HGF has steadily grown, increasing in services, volunteers and impact. HGF provides each new patient with a gift basket designed specifically for him or her, as well as necessities for family members, free parking for patient families, several monthly catered meals and weekly shopping. Additional services include massage therapy, emergency funding, holiday and birthday celebrations and an arts in medicine program. In the last several years, the foundation has expanded to provide three homes for outpatient temporary housing while families are required to maintain close proximity to the hospital.