Cooper with his big brother, Graham (Christmas 2010) Photo credit Zeb Warren

Most of you are already familiar with our story and know that our youngest son, Cooper, passed away at 13 months of age. He struggled the entirety of his short life and is the inspiration for the Foundation. We were able to enjoy one Christmas with Cooper. It was a gift. During the holiday season, we are grateful for the time we had with him (although brief), but we remain mindful of the many families who have children struggling with life-limiting or terminal illnesses.

It is the time of year when many of us consider our annual charitable giving. We know that the rain Hurricane Harvey dumped on our region forced many family members, friends, and neighbors from their homes. It was that same storm that forced us to make the difficult decision to cancel our Golf Tournament and Silent Auction, which was our main fundraiser for the year. This caused our Foundation and corresponding programs to experience a severe reduction in expected support.

We stand amazed at the resilience of our fellow Texans and the way they’ve risen to take care of each other during the recent (and unprecedented) natural disaster. Our hearts are also warmed and encouraged by witnessing the charitable donations that poured into churches and national charities in the wake of the floods. It is evident that adversity brought out the best in humanity. With this post, we appeal for the same compassion we witnessed in response to Hurricane Harvey.

It is in this spirit that we too want our voice to be heard. Approaching this holiday season and into 2018, our mission remains the same – even in light of our challenging financial position. We want to help support and improve pediatric palliative care and hospice programs for children with life-limiting illnesses in the Houston area by raising awareness and funds. Our aim is to strengthen these programs and the services they provide. In so doing, we want to alleviate some of the burdens these precious children and their families carry by easing pain, making world class care accessible, and maximizing quality of life. The goals we set coincide with that mission. Our short-term goal is to fund a portion of a nurse’s salary to make at-home visits for at least one local program again in 2018. Our ongoing goals are to help provide durable medical equipment to these children and to continue the mobile library program we started this year. We also plan to expand the program to Texas Children’s Hospital. Finally, our long-term goal of building an in-patient respite facility devoted to pediatric patients receiving palliative or hospice care remains an urgent need in the community.

Asking for money is never fun, and that is especially true this year. Unfortunately, what we want to accomplish for these kids can’t be done without it. Last year, because of supporters like you, we were able to fund a portion of a nurse’s salary to make in-home visits for Memorial Hermann’s Pediatric Palliative Care Program. We also started our mobile library for these patients and their families, again working with Memorial Hermann’s Pediatric Palliative Care Program.

We are a charity that is run entirely by volunteers. Our Board includes representatives from the medical, legal, accounting, and business communities. No Board Member receives any compensation, and we have no paid employees. We do this work because we believe in it. We know first-hand the challenges these children and their families face. Together, we can achieve our goals. We can make this vision a reality and improve the quality of life for these precious children and their families.

We are truly grateful for all of you and the support you show our organization. Please consider giving a tax-deductible donation to The Cooper Warren Pediatric Palliative Care Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, today.

We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season spent with friends and loved ones.