Article from 2022/2023 Impact of Giving Annual Report
For David and Tisha Lee, Directors of the international architectural and interior design practice K2LD, their journey with the RCH began from the very heart of their own household.
In 2000, while residing in Singapore, David and Tisha’s son, Aaron, who was eleven months old at the time, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an exceptionally rare form of cancer.
“We were desperately seeking answers from around the world and eventually found ourselves in Melbourne. It was here at the RCH that Aaron was treated with love and kindness,” David recalled.
Despite the challenges, the Lees found solace in the people they met at the RCH. “The seasons changed and every visit to the RCH, whether on wet or cold days, didn’t matter. What mattered was the people that defined the place,” said David. In 2016, after a fifteen year long journey, Aaron received a clean bill of health. While filled with gratitude, the Lees left the hospital with a mix of emotions.
“Whilst we were grateful for Aaron’s discharge, we left with a feeling of sadness and a feeling of not wanting to depart from this place that gave us hope,” David reflected. The Lee family was determined to give back to the hospital that had played such a pivotal role in their lives. “During this journey with Aaron, we looked for ways to contribute to the hospital.” This desire to give back led them to the RCH Foundation.
Over the years, K2LD have been active supporters of the RCH in various ways. They have sponsored beds, provided support for the music therapy program, and contributed to the RCH150 Art Trail, with their total contributions exceeding $56,000. On 15 June 2023, K2LD organised a fundraising event that raised an impressive $17,885 in a single evening. These funds were dedicated to the hospital’s garden program, designed to provide therapeutic healing through interaction with nature for patients, families and staff.
At the event, Dan Wheals, Therapeutic Garden Coordinator at the RCH, highlighted the importance of creating engaging hospital gardens that foster feelings of achievement, togetherness, self worth and empowerment. The purpose built gardens at the RCH feature elements like trees, bushes, seating, bird baths, a sandpit and a playground. These spaces serve as havens where children can find solace away from the clinical environment, allowing them to be themselves.
“The presentation by Dan on the therapeutic garden program was inspiring and heartfelt – some of our friends, consultants and business partners who attended the event are still talking about it today. Dan’s positive nature was highly infectious, and it showed his passion about the program’s potential in aiding the children’s recovery. It is a testament to the calibre of staffing and leadership within the hospital,” Tisha shared.
Tisha and David expressed their excitement about the impact of these funds.“We can’t wait to witness the impact of these funds on the many lives touched by the RCH. The partnership between K2LD and the RCH Foundation has lasted since 2010 and we want to continue to see it move from strength to strength,” they shared. As the hospital continues to evolve and innovate, it is corporate partnerships like these that truly make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.
“We have the best children’s hospital in the world. With the kind support of the community, Aaron is one of the many children who have benefited from a legacy of giving.”