Kayla's Story

CATEGORY: News and Community; Philanthropy; Testimonials

​My name is Jennifer. Kayla is my daughter. She is a vibrant fiteen-year-old with many goals and passions similar to her peers. There is one thing that is putting a damper on her teenage years, a brain tumor she developed when she was ten years old.

When Kayla's Social Worker, Michelle Miller, asked her what it was that she really wanted to do or learn, Kayla told her that she always wanted to cook.
Michelle gave her an opportunity to cook at Giovanni’s Ristorante, the exclusive 5-star Italian restaurant in Beachwood with Master Chef Zach Ladner and his wife, Alyssa, the pastry chef. Kayla was absolutely thrilled. It really gave her something to look forward to outside of her treatments, doctor’s appointments and medical tests.

Chef Zach and Chef Alyssa were fantastic with Kayla. You could see how much she enjoyed the three free cooking lessons that they offered her. They even offered to open the restaurant so that Kayla could host a meal of the dishes she learned to cook for our friends and family at the restaurant!


The day of the meal couldn’t have gone better, Kayla was given her very own chef’s jacket, a bound copy of a cookbook with all her own recipes that the Hospice of the Western Reserve’s Volunteer Program put together, and her little sister, Gianna, even received an arts and crafts care package to not be left out. The surprise didn’t end there, everyone that was at the restaurant received a copy of Kayla’s cookbook, and were even asking her for autographs!


Without the help and support of Hospice of the Western Reserve’s Pediatric Palliative Care program and the Moments to Remember program also run
through Hospice of the Western Reserve, none of this would have been possible. The Moments to Remember program is set up to make lasting memories for patients and their families. It is because of you that my two
beautiful girls shared in such wonderful memories with each other and their friends and family.

As a mother, I am so grateful that Kayla was able to enjoy her favorite thing and share it with our family. We will always treasure those memories. The help and support of Hospice of the Western Reserve’s Pediatric Palliative Care and Moments to Remember program made her joy possible.

We Can Help

Speak with the referral team by contacting us seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Any first visit and admission can be made the first day.

Northern Ohio's Hospice of Choice

More than 1,000 Hospice of the Western Reserve employees and 3,000 volunteers live and work side-by-side in the same neighborhoods with our patients and families. We are privileged to have cared for more than 100,000 Northern Ohioans since our inception.