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Shining a light on generosity

Last Modified: 9/29/2020

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“When a man dies if he can pass enthusiasm along to his children, he has left them an estate of incalculable value.” – Thomas Edison

Growing up, Glen Bickel was very close to his parents. He admired his mother and witnessed how hard his father worked with only a fifth-grade education. Glen’s father was employed by the Pensacola Railroad but always dreamed of being a pastor. Glen, having a master’s degree himself, recalls that his father was very well-read. It was that need to learn, and his life experiences, that seemed to be his father’s driving forces.

Achieving his dream, Glen’s father eventually became a pastor with a Methodist church. Sharing the love of faith, Glen’s wife Chris, and her father, also a man of God and serving as a Lutheran pastor, both specifically recall admiring the stained-glass windows within their churches as children, and even now as adults. Family, faith and stained-glass windows are an interest both Glen and Chris share.

Chris worked as a med-tech for the Parkview Medical Laboratory Science Program for roughly 25 years. After she and Glen retired, they kept in contact with Parkview Health and became regular volunteers. Following Glen’s two heart attacks and stints at Parkview’s Heart Institute, their faith remained steadfast and they continued to be involved with the hospital.

In 2012, when the Parkview Regional Medical Center opened, Glen and Chris were invited to tour the Parkview Heart Institute facility. There they saw the stained glass and were in awe. It instantly caught their attention. Captivated by the gentle play of light cast through the stained glass, they were informed of the opportunity to sponsor pieces. Both immediately thought of their parents.

After some initial discussion, Glen and Chris decided they would sponsor two separate stained glasses pieces, each honoring their parents through the multicolored artwork. You’ve likely seen the pieces before, but maybe never realized the love and legacy that lives in them.

While the Bickel’s did it to honor their parents, their act of generosity went on to support patient needs through Parkview Foundations’ Greatest Need Fund. This fund encompasses a wide range of patient care needs to give higher quality, compassionate healthcare. It provides:

  • Funding to programs related to patient care experiences, such as patient screenings, medication assistance programs, and temporary lodging for families whose loved ones are receiving treatments during COVID-19.
  • The ability to invest in cutting-edge research and innovation with the sole goal of new treatments and improved patient outcomes.
  • Life-changing, ongoing training opportunities for our nurses, Parkview co-workers, and area students who are pursuing their nursing degrees or EMT certifications to support our future generations.

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The memory of Glen’s parents lives on at Parkview Heart Institute, comforting patients like Glen as they arrive for their appointments. Chris’ parents have their recognition on display in the chapel on the second floor of Parkview Regional Medical Center, illuminating the space and people within it.

The Bickel’s recently spoke of how their generosity was not for their recognition, but for patients and their families to enjoy while also honoring their own loving parents.

“Each time we come through the Parkview Heart Institute it’s nice to be able to see the stained glass and see my parents’ names. Then, we go to the chapel and see Chris’ parents’ names – it’s great,” he said. “We are just so impressed with the hospital and how the stained glass looks.”

World Heart Day is September 29 and we hope to shed some light on this important day of awareness. Much like Glen did, the act of honoring a loved one is a powerful celebration of their significance to us. If you’re interested in honoring someone or generally learning more about Parkview Foundations, please call 260-266-7785 or visit our Make a Gift page.

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