Donor Story - Jerry and Susan Miller
In 2015, Jerry and Sue Miller are helping their triplets choose what colleges they’ll attend. Seventeen years ago, the Millers were focused on their three children in a much different way. They were fighting for their survival. The Miller’s two daughters and one son were born more than two months early. They spent nine weeks in Bronson Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
That experience is one of the main reasons the Millers are dedicated donors to the Bronson Health Foundation and why Jerry Miller also served for a time on the Foundation’s board of directors. “We are very grateful to the hospital for saving our kids,” explains Jerry. He says having a children’s hospital in southwest Michigan is not only critical to children facing a health crisis, but it is also essential to the health of the overall community.
In 2007, the Millers made an incredibly generous $225,000 matching grant to Bronson challenging the Bronson Health Foundation to raise the matching $225,000 with all donations going toward development of the private rooms in the NICU. "When we heard that the new North Pavilion would offer evidence-based design features like all-private rooms in the NICU, that really hit a spot with us. It awakened our interest in doing something out of gratitude so that the new building and its state-of-the-art technology can save as many babies as possible.” Jerry said.
Both Jerry and Susan remember the sensitive, caring nature of the staff at Bronson. They recall the special bond that forms among families with babies in the NICU and how they become one big family while their children are in the hospital. And, they remember the sadness felt when a parent would lose a baby. “Our kids wouldn’t be here today if not for the care they received at Bronson,” Susan says. “Jerry and I wanted to give locally in the Kalamazoo community. Because children’s health is so near and dear to us, we didn’t think twice about making this gift. We just had such a positive experience at Bronson.”
Jerry and Susan continued their generosity in 2014, when they donated specifically to the Children’s Hospital Fund to help Bronson purchase two new ambulances designed for transporting infants and children. The Millers say they want to help other families see their kids grow up happy and healthy, so they, too, can celebrate each of life’s wonderful milestones along the way.