June 20, 2023

Vicki and Derek Gross generously donate $100,000 to Saskatchewan’s Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation

After experiencing life altering health care journeys for each of their children, Vicki and Derek Gross have seen first-hand the importance of having a dedicated children and maternal hospital in Saskatchewan. Vicki and Derek have generously donated $100,000 to Saskatchewan’s Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation (JPCHF) to honour their late daughter, Delaina, and celebrate the inspirational stories of their other two children, Calla and Clark.

“It’s hard to describe feelings of deep appreciation to honour our children including our angel, Delaina, and support other families and children in need,” said Vicki. “We appreciate the importance of the best possible care for children – the most vulnerable, most cherished people in anyone’s life.”

Calla (left) and Clark (right) both spent time in the NICU.

With their first child, Calla, born three months premature in 2004; their second child, Delaina, tragically stillborn at three months premature in 2008; and their third child, Clark, born two months premature in 2010, the Gross family’s experiences are a testament of the importance of specialized pediatric and maternal health care. 

Calla spent the first two months of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), weighing just two pounds at birth. At one-month-old, she developed an infection and needed a ventilator and blood transfusion.  For the next few years, she struggled with respiratory issues and at two years old was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. Clark spent the first month of his life in the NICU.

The Gross’ gift will be honoured within Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital (JPCH) by naming a patient room, within JPCH’s NICU ‘In Memory of Delaina.’ Families from all across the province require critical care within Saskatchewan’s Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital NICU, including over 950* visits annually, with over 43% of families traveling from outside the Saskatoon area. Designed around the patient families, the NICU rooms offer specialized care for a child struggling with health complications after birth, giving families privacy to stay with their child in the hospital around the clock.

“Children are the most vulnerable, most important people in our lives, whether it’s your child, niece, nephew, grandchild, or friend. Odds are you know someone in need now or (who) may be in the future. Things can happen quickly and if they do, you would move heaven and earth to provide the maximum care possible, yet the control is completely out of your hands,” said Derek.

Calla and Clark are now thriving. Calla is graduating high school and off to university in the fall and Clark just celebrated his 13th birthday. Delaina’s legacy will live on forever through the Gross’ gift. 

Longtime advocates for JPCHF, the Gross family has helped build the JPCH by sharing their inspiring story, including Calla who represented sick and injured children as Saskatchewan’s 2016 Champion Child for Canada’s Children’s Hospital Foundations (CCHF). Derek also sits on the JPCHF Board of Directors.

Through her family’s experiences with JPCHF, Vicki encourages all who can to invest in world-class pediatric and maternal hospital services that save the lives of children like Calla, Delaina and Clark.

“(There are) many great charitable causes, but I’ll put children’s health at the top of the list every time. And this Foundation is driven to take action, overcome obstacles, and make a meaningful difference in our community and province,” said Vicki.

“Derek and Vicki Gross have been long-time members of our Foundation family helping drive transformational health for pediatric and maternal care in our province,” said Brynn Boback-Lane, President & CEO of Saskatchewan’s Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation. “This impactful gift honours a personal connection to pediatric health care and provides hope to our children who are going through some of the hardest times in their lives. This meaningful gift from the Gross family is appreciated by our Foundation and those who will be served through their generosity.”

If you are interested in supporting innovation of technology, family-centered programming and ground-breaking research for maternal and children’s health care at Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital and across Saskatchewan, please contact Laura Gawletz, Philanthropy Manager at JPCHF.

*Statistics provided by Saskatchewan Health Authority reporting period April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

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