98 Miles Foundation Donates $85,000 to Vermont Children’s Hospital

(Burlington)  The 98 Miles Foundation of Barton, Vermont has donated $85,000 to Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care to support the families of patients with cystic fibrosis. This is the 11th year the Foundation has provided financial support to help family members meet unexpected expenses when their loved ones are undergoing transplant operations, no matter where the surgery is performed.

The Foundation was formed in 2000 by David and Kathy White, the parents of Melissa White of Barton, who died in 2004 at the age of 22.  The organization’s name reflects the number of miles from Barton to Burlington that Melissa and her family had to travel for treatment at Fletcher Allen.

“We’re so grateful to the White family for all they have done and continue to do to support our patients facing transplantation. Cystic fibrosis is a very difficult disease that puts enormous physical, emotional and financial burdens on families. This funding is a great resource and a wonderful way to honor their daughter Melissa,” said Thomas Lahiri, MD, director of Pediatric Pulmonology at Vermont Children’s Hospital

 “Melissa received tremendous community support when she had her double lung transplant, and it was her hope that other families could receive the same kind of help.  It is gratifying that more than ten years after we started the Foundation we are still fulfilling her wish with the support of so many great people from Vermont and across the country,” said Kathy White.  

Although the donation is being made to Vermont Children’s, families of adult cystic fibrosis patients at Fletcher Allen needing transplant surgery are also eligible to receive money from the fund.

The Foundation’s main fundraiser of the year - a “Turkey Trot” 5k walk/run - will be held Thanksgiving Day starting at 9am at the Barton Memorial Building. 

“Melissa cherished sustainable community activities that brought family and friends together and the Turkey Trot is something she would be extremely proud of,” said White.

For more information on the Turkey Trot please contact Gail Robitaille at (802) 525-3689.