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Eve of Janus event benefits Children’s Hospital

Jan. 13, 2022, 9:49 AM


by Christina Echegaray

The Eve of Janus, the longest-running fundraising event for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, recently celebrated its 50-year anniversary with a $1 million milestone gift to the hospital’s Tri Delta Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic.

Lily Hensiek, childhood cancer survivor and former Children’s Hospital patient, speaks at the Eve of Janus 50th anniversary gala. Hensiek also served as the gala’s junior honorary co-chair.
Lily Hensiek, childhood cancer survivor and former Children’s Hospital patient, speaks at the Eve of Janus 50th anniversary gala. Hensiek also served as the gala’s junior honorary co-chair. (photo by Roger Moore)

As part of “A Campaign Against Childhood Cancer: Soaring Higher, Dreaming Bigger,” the donation will help expand space dedicated to clinical care for pediatric and adolescent cancers and will address the needs of even more families in the region.

Each year, the Eve of Janus, coordinated by volunteer Tri Delta alumnae, recognizes outstanding college-age individuals from the Nashville area at their gala event supporting Children’s Hospital.

Since 1970, the Eve of Janus has raised over $5 million in support of Children’s Hospital’s pediatric cancer initiatives. Through this generosity, they’ve provided funding for a research laboratory and established the Tri Delta Pediatric Cancer Endowed Research Fund and the Tri Delta Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic. The 2020 event was postponed due to the pandemic.

“We are so proud to celebrate 50 years of supporting pediatric cancer efforts at Children’s Hospital,” said Carolyn Hannon, co-chair, along with Carroll Kimball, of the Eve of Janus Advisory Board. “Our multiyear pledge signifies the excitement we have for expanding pediatric cancer care and our deep commitment to this cause.”

With COVID-19 protocols and mitigations in place, including masking and a required negative COVID-19 test, Eve of Janus celebrated its 50th anniversary during a 2021 gala event held in December.

The gala was dedicated to the memory of the late Luke Gregory, former Children’s Hospital chief executive officer, who died after a courageous battle with lymphoma in 2019. Gregory was recognized as honorary co-chair for this year’s event.

“On behalf of Children’s Hospital, I want to offer my sincere gratitude to Eve of Janus and the Tri Delta alumnae for their longstanding commitment and ongoing generosity to provide hope and healing to children and adolescents battling cancer,” said Meg Rush, MD, MMHC, President of Children’s Hospital.

“Eve of Janus is a time-honored, community tradition that is deeply rooted in purpose — to improve and expand cancer care and therapies for children with all types of cancer. We are also truly honored that this 50th anniversary of Eve of Janus will serve as a fitting tribute to our colleague and friend Luke Gregory. He too was profoundly grounded in purpose and was dedicated to ensuring our mission as a Children’s Hospital was to care for and nurture all children and families who need us.”

Serving as junior honorary co-chair was former Children’s Hospital patient and childhood cancer survivor, Lily Hensiek. Now a junior at the University of South Carolina, Hensiek is an advocate for children with cancer and their families.

The Eve of Janus event, chaired by Carolyn Taylor and Lori Morgan, took place at the Country Music Hall of Fame to celebrate the collegians and their families.

“We salute the efforts of volunteers past and present and are incredibly grateful for their commitment,” said Kimball. “Building upon the Eve of Janus’ past support of Children’s Hospital, our new gift will be used to improve the treatment experience and prognosis of pediatric patients facing a cancer diagnosis.”

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