Ashley Giesler understands first-hand what it feels like to have a sick child. One month after her older son, Charlie, was born at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, doctors discovered a small hole in his heart. “We were stunned,” she recalls. “Here I thought I had a perfectly healthy baby and then we got the news. It changed my perspective immediately.”
Fortunately, the hole closed on its own after careful monitoring. Ashley, grateful for the compassionate care that her son received, began thinking about ways to become more involved with the Hospital. She decided to join Circle of Friends, a unique organization that supports Packard Children’s through volunteer opportunities, community events, and member philanthropy.
One of Ashley’s first experiences with the group was a tour of the Hospital. She was deeply moved while visiting the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which cares for the most fragile newborns. In addition, she observed patients and their siblings working diligently in the on-site Hospital School, which confirmed her decision to support Packard Children’s.
“I realized very quickly that Packard not only provides world-class medical care, but also really treats the whole family,” Ashley explains. “As a mother, I understand how important it is to know that your children are being cared for emotionally as well as physically.”
When both of her sons began developing food allergies, Ashley once again benefited from Packard’s family-oriented approach, as doctors were able to leverage their understanding of Charlie’s food allergies to help develop a course of treatment for her younger son, Jack. The boys are doing well, but Charlie requires close and careful observation as he faces ongoing dietary restrictions. Despite the circumstances, she considers her family to be fortunate compared to others whose children suffer from life-threatening conditions.
Earlier this year, Ashley became a Children’s Circle of Care (CCOC) member. Her generosity helps to ensure that all families in our community have access to world-class pediatric and obstetric care and the best chance to live a healthy life. In addition to her philanthropic leadership, she is an inaugural member of the recently formed CCOC Council and has served on numerous honorary committees.
“I take so much pride in being involved with Packard Children’s,” says Ashley. “It is, after all, a nationally recognized institution that we are privileged to have in our community.”