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Becky and Kevin Hostler

When Becky and Kevin Hostler attended The Forum Luncheon The Woodlands in April 2015, it was not their first exposure to Texas Children’s Hospital. They had been familiar with the hospital’s reputation since the late 1980s as a place where health care miracles happened.

Neither was this their first Forum Luncheon. They had attended once before at the invitation of their good friends, Shirley and Ralph Alexander, residents of The Woodlands and Texas Children’s supporters. There, they heard about Promise: The Campaign for Texas Children’s Hospital and preparations for an enormous expansion that would enable the hospital to provide its unmatched services to even more children and families. It left an indelible impression on the Hostlers.

“No one is more vulnerable than a child,” Kevin Hostler said. “We were initially drawn to Texas Children’s because of how they are uniquely equipped to care for the most vulnerable children and families in difficult circumstances.”

That day at their second Forum Luncheon, the Hostlers had come prepared to make a commitment of their own to the Promise Campaign — a gift in honor of their five grandchildren: their daughter Kathy’s children, Jackson and Liam, and their son Jonathan’s children, Isabella, Aiden and Norah.

The program that afternoon featured the stories of three brave children from The Woodlands who had all survived life-threatening illnesses thanks to the experts at Texas Children’s. Unfortunately, they had also faced a literal race against time to receive the care they desperately needed at the Texas Medical Center campus. Through a virtual tour, the audience caught a glimpse of Texas Children’s solution to this challenge and its promise to those communities: Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a state-of-the-art community pediatric hospital, will provide specialty outpatient, inpatient and emergency care for tens of thousands of families closer to home.

At the program’s conclusion, the lights came up and the people began to disperse. But Becky and Kevin Hostler remained — sitting quietly, stirred by echoes of the past and the memory of their family’s personal struggle.

In 2007, Becky and Kevin’s daughter, Kathy, was expecting her first child in Anchorage, Alaska. Tragically, she lost the baby at 28 weeks, a little girl she and her husband, Tony, had decided to name Hazel. The family’s grief was profound. When Kathy and Tony learned they were pregnant with twin sons the following year, they were overjoyed. But they were also anxious after the trauma of losing Hazel. For three months, Kathy received wonderful care around the clock, and though the twins were born six weeks early, they required only a brief stay in the neonatal intensive care unit.

As Becky and Kevin sat listening at The Forum Luncheon all those years later, they were reminded of their own journey in the stories that had been shared.

“We were overwhelmed by how those families’ experiences resonated with us,” Becky Hostler said. “We had already decided to make a gift, but after the program, we both knew we wanted to give more.”

Becky and Kevin decided they wanted to make gifts in honor of each of their grandchildren. But as they were discussing, Kevin suddenly stopped and looked at his wife, and asked, “What about Hazel?”

To honor their five living grandchildren, and in memory of Hazel, the Hostlers donated $150,000 to Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands to name six examination rooms in the new Outpatient Building.

“When we first heard about Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, we related to the need,” Kevin said. “We had seen firsthand how important it is for families to be together when they have to be in the hospital and to have that hospital close by. Every person we’ve met at Texas Children’s — from the doctors and nurses to the administrative staff — they are all remarkable. Now they’re here in the community in The Woodlands. And that takes a tremendous burden off families.”

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