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New Special Needs Fund Helps Our Youngest Patients

These uncertain times have been challenging for most of us; for parents of terminally ill children, they are particularly frightening. Not only do parents worry about their child being exposed to the virus, many of them were already financially impacted by their child’s illness before this current crisis.

Melissa Keller (left) and Hospice Austin Development Director Robin Clemons

Hospice Austin is delighted to announce the creation of the Abigail E. Keller Pediatric Special Needs Fund to help some of these families with basic needs such as medications, housing, food, utility costs, and special equipment not covered by insurance.  This fund was made possible by a seed donation from the Abigail E. Keller Foundation. The Foundation is committed to supporting programs and organizations that serve the rare, undiagnosed, terminally ill, and medically complex/fragile pediatric community.

Abigail Keller was born in 2007 and passed away on Hospice Austin’s service on Feb. 7, 2019. During her short life, Abbey’s smile was the one constant that could be counted on despite her lifelong struggles.

Born blind and partially deaf, her indomitable spirit and compassionate nature brought joy and comfort to others. When she would sit next to someone who was sad, she would reach out and pat them on the arm, offering comfort, though how she knew to do that remained a mystery. According to Abigail’s mother, Melisa Keller, the creation of the pediatric special needs fund is a wonderful way to honor Abigail’s memory and help other terminally ill children and their families.

“We look forward to starting this new fund and a continued partnership with Hospice Austin in helping care and support these children and their families that seek friendship, guidance, resources and more as they care for their precious child during the difficult times,” Melissa said.

Abigail Keller

The first purchases of this fund will be distributed this weekend: HEB gift cards and Easter baskets for 10 children. If you would like to donate to the Abigail E. Keller Pediatric Special Needs Fund, please click here.

“It was an honor to care for Abigail, and it will be an honor to help other children as part of Abigail’s legacy,” said Hospice Austin Executive Director Marjorie Mulanax. “We are so grateful – the creation of this fund will improve the quality of life of so many of our youngest patients and their families.”

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