Why I Give: Tami and Richard's Story

By: Emily Najera

May 13, 2024

Tami and Richard Dethmers

If you have the chance to meet Tami and Richard Dethmers, you will quickly discover a remarkable couple who embody a heartwarming spirit. Married for 44 years, they cherish family above all else. With five children and 10 grandchildren, their family is not just their priority—it's their whole world. It is this love and their steadfast faith that led Tami and Richard to make a transformative donation to Renown Children’s Hospital.

The Heart of Giving

In 2023, Tami toured the construction of the new Wilbur D. May Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Renown Children's Hospital. She was touched by the idea of creating a special place for sick children and their families. That night, she talked with Richard about how they could help. Together, they both agreed to make a generous donation that could help ease the pain for families with children in the hospital.

A Comforting Consultation Room

Their donation established a consultation room in the Wilbur D. May NICU and PICU at Renown Children's Hospital. Tami and Richard's motivation stems from personal experience, having seen their grandson endure four open-heart surgeries. "I remember challenging conversations with doctors, surrounded by other families in the open PICU. It was difficult,” said Tami. 

In this new consultation room, families have a private space to learn about the next steps in their journey, gaining insights into the illnesses affecting their children. It is a dedicated space where doctors can discuss treatment plans and medical information with families. Designed to be a supportive and calming environment, the room features art on the walls, and a window bathes the space in beautiful, natural light, offering comfort to families in need. Tami and Richard’s donation ensures that families in the NICU and PICU can navigate difficult conversations with doctors in a thoughtfully designed space.

Because We Love You and We Care

In the new consultation room, a powerful message is printed and framed: 'Because we love you and we care.' This phrase is an important part of Tami and Richard’s donation, reflecting words they spoke to their children while they were growing up. For them, it symbolizes love, care, and a commitment to offering support.

A Legacy of Comfort

Tami and Richard, along with their family, are dedicated to an ongoing legacy of giving. Together, they also donated blankets to patients and families who use the consultation room. “I hope they provide an added layer of comfort,” said Tami. Each blanket includes a custom tag repeating those same words 'Because we love you and we care.'

Richard echoes Tami's sentiments. “We do what we can because we love children, and there is no greater pain than a child in distress,” Richard said, emphasizing their shared dedication to helping children in need. Together, with their children and grandchildren, they continue to make a difference, embodying the power of compassion and generosity in their family's legacy.

Beyond Hospital Walls

Tami and Richard’s commitment to philanthropy extends far into our community. They support a range of causes, including the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation, Make-A-Wish, LifeCamp USA, and the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows. They care about helping their community and have spent time making holiday meals for veterans and putting together gift baskets for people who need them, “It's about extending love to others, “Tami said.

Determined Compassion

Reflecting on their journey, Richard highlights the value of working hard, enjoying the present, and being grateful for the good things in life. “We're thankful to help families going through tough times,” said Richard, “especially hospital stays.” Tami shares Richard's sentiment. Supporting families is deeply meaningful to her, which is why she is pursuing a degree in the science of human behavior and trauma counseling. She wants to offer vital support to those navigating the complexities of grief and trauma. Tami envisions a future working closely with first responders to address their unique challenges and provide much-needed support. She is set to graduate next year.

Thank you, Tami, and Richard, for sharing your inspiring story and for the generous donation that will undoubtedly leave a lasting mark on Renown Children's Hospital.

How You Can Help Make a Difference

If Tami and Richard's story inspires you and you are committed to making a positive impact, please consider donating today. Every contribution, regardless of size, directly impacts the lives of young patients and their families at Renown Children’s Hospital. Join the Good Fight and be part of the lasting change.

Renown Health Foundation's Why I Give series recognizes donors, volunteers, corporations, foundations, and others who provide philanthropic support to Renown. We are fortunate to have generous donors whose funding helps support and expand our efforts to meet the growing needs of the patients we serve. To learn more about how you can support Renown, please email foundation@renown.org, call 775-982-5545, or visit renown.org/donate.