FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sonja Luecke, communications manager, The Children’s Inn at NIH
c: 901-340-1975 [email protected]
Mysba Regis, director of marketing & communications, The Children’s Inn at NIH
c: 240-274-2101 [email protected]
First Lady Melania Trump to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Again With Seriously Ill Children at The Children’s Inn at NIH
BETHESDA, Md. (Feb. 14, 2020) – First Lady Melania Trump will celebrate Valentine’s Day once again with seriously ill children staying at The Children’s Inn at NIH while they are participating in groundbreaking clinical trials and studies at the National Institutes of Health.
For the third year in a row, the First Lady will spend Valentine’s Day with the children at The Children’s Inn. Over the past year, she has also invited Children’s Inn families to participate in The White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll, Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Halloween celebration and the one-year anniversary of her Be Best campaign.
“We are so honored that the First Lady has chosen to spend Valentine’s Day with the children and families of The Children’s Inn once again this year.” says Jennie Lucca, CEO of The Children’s Inn at NIH. “We’ve come to look forward to her visit every year. Mrs. Trump brings a delightful experience for our families and awareness to the much-needed medical research happening here at the NIH.”
Trump will be greeted by The Children’s Inn CEO Jennie Lucca, The Children’s Inn board vice chair Susan Penfield, and NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins.
“The partnership between the NIH and The Children’s Inn is key in making it possible for children and their families from across the United States and the world to participate in clinical research studies that require regular travel to Bethesda, Maryland,” Lucca says. “Thanks to The Inn, families never have to worry about paying for lodging, meals or activities that help keep their children entertained and happy, turning trips to the NIH for medical purposes into adventures children genuinely look forward to.”
The First Lady will briefly meet with NIH patient Lucy, 11, of Midlothian, Virginia, who was diagnosed at age 3 with Job’s syndrome, a highly rare genetically based immune deficiency that left her vulnerable to frequent and potentially life-threatening infections. After multiple hospitalizations for pneumonia, she was referred to a trial at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and has stayed at The Children’s Inn more than 30 times.
Afterward, the First Lady will join a group of children participating in Valentine’s Day activities at The Children’s Inn. She will interact with the children as they decorate cookies and Valentine’s Day cards as well as build heart wreaths for their loved ones.
The First Lady will also exchange Valentine’s Day cards with the children.
To thank Trump for her visit, Children’s Inn resident Amana, 9, of Mombasa, Kenya, who donated life-saving stem cells for her brother, Amani, 13, that cured him of sickle cell disease and Thais, 8, of Lima, Peru who was diagnosed at age 2 with Proteus syndrome will present flowers and a personalized framed gift to the First Lady on behalf of all the children at The Inn.
Located on the NIH campus, The Children’s Inn is a nonprofit hospitality house that provides free lodging and supportive services to families of children with rare and serious illnesses whose best hope is a clinical trial at the NIH. Every year, The Children’s Inn houses more than 1,500 children and their families from across the United States and the world to help reduce the burden of illness on families, make childhood possible despite illness and advance medical breakthroughs at the NIH that benefit children today and for generations to come. For more information about The Children’s Inn, visit childrensinn.org/about or call 301-496-5672.