From Lemons to Lemonade: One Gift Sweetens Many Lives

Dr. and Mrs. Burns.jpg

What value can you place on a glass of lemonade? Dr. Arthur Burns understood the healing power that one kind gesture could have on his patients.

Dr. Burns dedicated more than 50 years of his life serving children as a pediatrician at Rainbow Babies & Children’s. Dr. Burns’ patients truly meant the world to him and his beloved wife of 70 years, Edwina.

I will be 65, and I still remember Dr. Burns. What a wonderful man. I seemed to get sick every Christmas and would have to go to the doctor. He never refused to see me even when my mom didn’t have money to pay. As an adult, I adopted two boys, and he took care of them. I will never forget. Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful gift.
— F.T., Maple Heights, OH

When pediatric patients were having a particularly difficult time, Dr. Burns would visit them with a special treat—lemonade or hot chocolate. It was his mission to lift children’s spirits when they were at their lowest.

Dr. Burns passed away on February 26, 2016. He had lost Edwina a few years earlier. However, their legacy will continue to live on through charitable bequests they made in their estate plans to support organizations dedicated to providing pediatric care in the community.

The Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland was the beneficiary of $10,000 from the Burns estate. We wanted to find just the right way to honor Dr. & Mrs. Burns’ legacy at Rainbow. Volunteers at the Ronald McDonald Family Room deliver gifts and snacks to families who cannot leave the pediatric ward. Volunteers visit the patient rooms and spread a little joy. Each year the Happy Wheels cart at Rainbow delivers happiness to nearly 2,500 patients and their families. We could think of no better way to honor them and their love for children than naming the Happy Wheels cart in their memory for the next two years.

Guess what goody has been added to the cart…lemonade!

The Burns’ gift not only touches our families and children, it touches the lives of the volunteers who deliver to the rooms. Here’s an example of their impact.

HW-Dana Lowrie-Lemonade.jpg

“My name is Dana Lowrie, and I am a sophomore at Case Western Reserve University studying nursing. You may have seen me either working the front desk or pushing the Happy Wheels Cart.

The Happy Wheels Cart is one of the most rewarding experiences I have been able to be a part of in the Family Room. Many parents that are staying with their children do not get the opportunity to come to the Family Room for various reasons. When we bring the Happy Wheels Cart onto the patient room floors, we are able to give the families light snacks and other items that help to make their day a little better. One of my favorite parts of Happy Wheels is getting to interact with the patients. I remember one time that I gave a child a teddy bear and it made her so happy, she could not stop smiling. Putting smiles on the faces of families and their children is one of the best parts of this job.

I feel that this room has given me the opportunity to impact families in a positive way. This room has also allowed me to see patients and families outside of the clinical setting and to get to know and help them in a different way.”

We were delighted at the opportunity to honor Dr. Burns through a donation to the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland. Through this gift, Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland has made it possible for Dr. Burns to continue to provide care, and hopefully a few smiles, to pediatric patients at Rainbow.
— Kelly Slattery, who facilitated the gift on behalf of Dr. Burns estate

Dr. & Mrs. Burns’ gift will impact nearly 5,000 Rainbow families. Visit our planned giving page, and learn how you too can make a difference in the lives of RMH families.