Neil and Amy Rubenstein sit with their son Brody. They still have huge medical bills from their first child and are very happy to be provided with free parking.
Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune

Lurie Children's Hospital giving parking passes to families of NCIU patients

Foundation honoring tiny former patient raised more than $200,000 to subsidize parking and public transportation

By Healthcare Facilities Today

Parents of tiny patients at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago now have one less thing to worry about. The hospital is now giving families with babies in the neonatal intensive care unit passes for parking or public transportation that will allow them to come and go for free.

According to an article in The Chicago Tribune, the passes will come from the Jackson Chance Foundation — named after a boy who died in September 2012 after spending nearly his entire 10-month life in a NICU, the hospital floor for premature or critically ill newborns. 

The foundation has raised more than $200,000 — enough to ensure that families with newborns at Lurie won't have to pay to visit their babies.

"Taking that stress away is a huge, huge help. It may only be $15 a day, but it adds up over time. And we have no idea when Brody is going to come home," the article quoted Neil Rubenstein, of Wheeling, Ill. as saying. Rubenstein set aside a specific credit card for hospital expenses including parking and food. "It removes that one barrier to seeing him, and makes it an easier decision to head down at any given time, even if it's for a short period of time."

According to the article, that was the goal of Jackson's parents, Carrie and Terry Meghie, who spent every day at the hospital — which moved last year from its longtime location in Lincoln Park to its new spot downtown. While there, the Meghies learned that the high cost of parking kept some families away. After Jackson died, they decided to honor him by finding a way to provide complimentary parking or CTA and Metra vouchers for all families whose children are in the NICU.

The foundation has received more than 300 donations — ranging from $5 to $50,000. A DePaul University business school class raised $2,000 by selling items on eBay and a Chicago parenting group collected $1,000 at a fundraiser.

Read the article.



October 1, 2013

Topic Area: Environmental Services

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