Boston Children's Hospital is one of two hospitals that will share a $1 million gift from Columbus Blue Jackets team captain Nick Foligno.
According to NHL.com, Foligno made the gift in appreciation of the care his 3-year-old daughter received at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and Boston Children's for a congenital heart defect. Foligno's daughter, Milana, had a surgical procedure at Boston Children's when she was 3 weeks old.
"This generous gift has established funds to expand two very important programs in our Heart Center here at Boston Children's Hospital. The Foligno Family Fund for Fetal Cardiology will support the work of Dr. Wayne Tworetzky, and the Foligno Family Innovation Fund for Cardiac Surgery will support the work of Dr. Ram Emani, the surgeon who performed Milana's surgery. We are so grateful to the Foligno family for their continued support and advocacy around raising awareness and advancing research of congenital heart defects," said Boston Children's spokeswoman Kristen Dattoli.
Foligno initially wanted to keep the gift private but changed his mind to help raise awareness.
"How can we help people who are going to be in a similar situation? We're so proud as a family to tell our story and bring awareness to what's going on in the world with our young ones. We're not the only family affected by this. To try and help others is something that's important to us," Foligno said.
Coincidentally, the Bruins open their 2016-17 season Thursday night in Columbus against Foligno and the Blue Jackets.
"I have a very special place in my heart for Columbus and Boston, because of the procedure they did there, but Columbus especially," Foligno said. "This place is home for me. I want people to know I care dearly about this place. Probably the best place to start is with our children and giving back here."
Foligno, 28, is entering his 10th season in the NHL.
Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at @mattpep15.