2019 -2020 Sweepstakes grant Recipient
The Forrest Spence Fund
EMPOWERING families & EQUIPPING institutions to deal with the impact of childhood illness
It all started when…
The Forrest Spence Fund begins with the story of Brittany and David Spence's first child, Robert Forrest Spence, born on September 10, 2007.
Shortly after birth Forrest developed complications and was transported to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where he fought valiantly for life for 55 days before his illness overtook him.
While in the PICU, Forrest and his family underwent an indescribable journey of highs and lows. Amidst the daily struggles, the Spences were met with a compassion and love that gave them hope and helped them survive the most difficult journey of their lives. It was in these times that they tasted deeply of the kindness of friends and perfect strangers. It was often that kindness that sustained them, as they grew weary.
In light of this experience, the Forrest Spence Fund was founded to assist with the non-medical needs of critically or chronically ill children and their families throughout the Mid-South.
The Spences view this as a way for them and for others to support families dealing with similar difficult situations and to give back to regional children's hospitals like:
Le Bonheur Children's Hospital,
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt,
Children's Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga,
Baptist Women's Memorial Hospital, and
St. Jude Children's Hospital where the amazing medical staff fought for Forrest and continues to fight for thousands of other children each year.
The Forrest Spence Fund meets needs in 4 main ways: