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Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart & Hope Fund
By Jean Cohoon / November 21, 2017 /   Loading Disqus...

In many ways, Gabrielle Dinsmore was a typical little girl. “She loved Dora the Explorer, a stuffed kitty that went everywhere with her, fashionable clothes, and having her hair done,” explains her mother, Louise.

But Gabrielle was born with a congenital heart defect, endured three open heart surgeries, and experienced a myriad of treatments and hospitalizations. She died in 2010, just weeks shy of her third birthday.

“I needed a positive outlet to channel my grief,” Louise explains. She found it through a conversation with Dr. Lloyd Feit, director of the Pediatric Heart Center at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. “He had a dream of starting a camp for kids with congenital heart disease, and I told him I could raise the money for it,” Louise states.

In 2011, Louise and her husband Jeff founded the Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart & Hope Fund “to provide emotional, educational, recreational, and financial support to children and families impacted by congenital heart disease, heart defects, and severe feeding issues.”

The fund has supported Gabrielle’s Heart Camp in Rhode Island for six years and in Connecticut in 2017, as well as pediatric cardiology programs at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. In addition, financial assistance grants have covered expenses of families dealing with severe cardiac and feeding issues.

Noting family health issues, their full-time jobs, and caring for their young son, Louise says, “It makes perfect sense to transfer the funds to the Foundation now. The Rhode Island Foundation is the best of the best. It makes me feel good knowing that my daughter’s life already has impacted hundreds of children and families, and that Gabby’s legacy will continue through these two endowed funds.”

The Gabrielle Dinsmore Fund will support the Heart Camp of the Pediatric Heart Center at Hasbro Children's Hospital; the Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart & Hope Fund will support Boston Children's Hospital Pediatric Cardiology Program, Yale New Haven Pediatric Cardiology Program, and Connecticut Children's Medical Center.

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