2012 Articles and Releases

Michelle Trulaske
11/24/2012

Why I Give

Q: You’re a long-time supporter of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and currently serve as a Foundation Board member. Why are you so committed to the hospital?

Michelle: When I first started on the board, my stomach was in knots when I walked in the hospital for meetings because I would see all these children with health issues. But as I learned more about what the hospital was doing for these little patients, I went through a transformation and now I am comforted when I come to the hospital. I feel a great sense of satisfaction knowing every patient who comes to Children’s Hospital is in the best hands in the world.

Q: What drew you to support the Children’s Discovery Institute?

Michelle: The research component interests me. I believe in the collaborative approach among the many different medical and research disciplines, the open-mindedness to innovative types of research that might not otherwise be funded from traditional sources, the genetic expertise, and the world-class competence and skill of Washington University physicians and researchers.

Q: You created an endowment for the Children’s Discovery Institute Musculoskeletal Center. Why was this important to you?

Michelle: When I first was interested in supporting the Children’s Discovery Institute, I asked Lee Fetter, the hospital president, where the resources were most needed. At the time, he said it was the Musculoskeletal Center where they focused on things like scoliosis. It was the perfect fit. I had scoliosis growing up and wore a back brace for three years, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And my grandmother had severe scoliosis that affected her throughout her entire life. In addition, I know many people who have had major surgery for the disease. The quality of life can be significantly impaired if this disease is not corrected or cured.

I believe the research team at the Children’s Discovery Institute can find a cure. Already, they have searched for related genetic factors for scoliosis and have narrowed the search for the complex genetic link from something the size of the world all the way down to the neighborhood and now the block. Once they discover the genes responsible for scoliosis, they’re on the way to a cure.

Q: Why do you consider the Children’s Discovery Institute a good investment?

Michelle: I consider it a good investment because I’m certain we fill find cures to many diseases—and that is priceless. I know my endowment is being properly stewarded by the best and brightest people. We are already seeing exciting progress but I don’t expect instant results. What’s fascinating is that the research being done through the Children’s Discovery Institute is relevant to the world. If just one of these diseases is cured, it’s cured for the world, not just for St. Louis or the United States.

By investing in the Institute, I hope to improve the quality of life for as many people as possible. Being part of this brings me such great joy—I’m so proud of what the Institute researchers are doing.

Michelle Trulaske is a former broadcast journalist and advertising executive who serves on the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation Board and is chair of the Donor Care Committee.

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