Championing the Hearts of Children
Not far from the construction site for the new University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Women’s Hospital, another Mott building project recently took place, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Known as the Mott Storybook Cottage project, the 90-square-foot playhouse includes a complete kitchen, a furnished dining room and living room with faux fireplace, as well as natural outdoor landscaping. In true community spirit, all building materials and services were donated by local businesses specializing in construction and architectural and interior design.
The cottage was built for auction during the May 17-18 Champions for Children’s Hearts celebrity golf tournament, hosted by the NFL’s Brian Griese and Steve Hutchinson — both U-M alumni. Guests at a gala dinner during the event heard Shannan and John Shaw, a U-M associate professor in aerospace engineering, speak about the exceptional care their 4-year-old daughter, Maddie, was receiving at Mott Children’s Hospital. Maddie had been waiting nearly 16 months in the cardiac intensive care unit at Mott for a new heart to replace her own which, doctors believe, was attacked by a viral infection that caused it to enlarge and weaken.
Inspired by the Shaws and challenged by Griese and Hutchinson to match their own gifts of $1,000 each in order to keep the cottage at Mott, many guests contributed $1,000 to catch a signed-football pass from Griese, quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A total of $67,000 was raised in this way to purchase the cottage for Mott.
Just a week later, on May 27, little Maddie Shaw died while still waiting for her new heart. Though she was never an organ recipient herself, Maddie’s liver and kidneys were donated by the Shaw family to help save the lives of other children. In her memory, the cottage will be named Maddie’s Storybook Cottage and will bring delight and distraction to young Mott patients for many years to come.