Bruins forward Nick Foligno and wife Janelle are pictured with daughter Milana and sons Landon and Hudson. (Contribution/Janelle Foligno)
Bruins forward Nick Foligno and wife Janelle continue their mission to give back to Boston Children’s Hospital, which the couple say saved their daughter’s life.
Folignos partners with hospitals to fund a two-year fellowship at the Benderson Family Heart Center. There, an up-and-coming pediatric cardiologist will focus on fetal interventions, learning how to spot heart defects in utero to help you live a healthier life. baby.
The Fellows will study under the wing of Dr. Wayne Touretsky, whom the Folignos have known over the years as a cardiologist to their 9-year-old daughter Mirana.
“New doctors can come to Boston and learn from the absolute best team, and they’ll take what they’ve learned…and now they’re teaching more people,” Janelle said. Foligno told the Herald on Saturday, “The more education we get from the best doctors, the better our heart centers will be.”
Milana’s challenging and exciting health journey began when she entered the world in October 2013. She was born with a congenital heart defect. Foliños was very surprised after Janelle had a healthy-looking pregnancy.
At just three weeks old, Milana and her parents came to Boston Children to become the youngest baby to undergo what her mother called “experimental” surgery to correct her imperfections. So Milana has had 5 surgeries, 2 of which were open heart surgeries. They were all staged in Boston.
The Fellowship represents the full circle of Nick and Janelle Foligno.
The couple donated $200,000 in December to fund the first fellowship to start in July and run on the academic calendar. Janelle Foligno hopes there will be more fellowships in the future, but for now she and her husband are taking fellowships two years at a time.
Nick Foligno, who took a short break during the Bruins’ West Coast road trip on Friday, said he sees the fellowship as an “amazing” benefit for the community.
“We are part of this community just like anyone else,” Foligno said in an email. He, along with many others, will continue to make BCH one of the best in the country and the world. ”
Raising awareness about a healthy heart is the mission behind Heart’s Playbook, a foundation created by Folignos in 2020 to promote support for heart-related organizations.
The couple donated $500,000 to Boston Children in 2016, and another $500,000 to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
In 2020, Janelle Foligno wrote a children’s book titled “Dear Heart: A letter to my special heart” for children facing heart-related problems. She said it spurred the creation of a foundation, and the income from her books supports the cause.
The Folignos say the heart-related progress they’ve seen over the years gives them hope.
The “experimental” surgery Mirana underwent when she was born was performed only at Boston Children’s at the time, but is now performed at many heart centers around the country.
Milana’s latest surgery to insert a new valve in her leg, which took place last June, hadn’t been done on her children until recently, her mother said. .
Janelle Foligno said of Milan: “She has recovered very well from it and is able to lead the life of a fairly normal young woman, terrorize her siblings, and manage to do well in school and play sports. increase.
The support from the Bruins and the NHL at large is what prompted him and his wife to draw words from the work they do through Heart’s Playbook.
The Bruins held a “Heart Health Night” at TD Garden earlier this month. A segment featuring Tufts Medicine’s heart health facts and his Folignos visiting a local elementary school to educate students during the Feb. 11 game against Washington appeared on the Jumbotron. The Boston Bruins Foundation also ran her 50/50 raffle in support of Heart’s Playbook.
Foligno, a 16-year NHL veteran after signing a two-year, $7.6 million deal with the Bruins in July 2021, will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
“Janelle said it best when I first signed here. ‘ said Foligno. “Boston will forever be in our hearts. Through The Hearts Playbook, we feel like we can give back some of that love and slowly give back our gratitude. I think the Stanley Cup will help too!”