Robin's Speech for the Via Christi Hospital Foundation

Saturday Evening October 23, 2004, Wichita, Kansas

I was 10 years old when my Daddy died. I didn't have him for very long, or for crucial parts of my life. But he's still the force that drives me, the voice that says I can do anything and everything.

During his 36 days at Via Christi, I saw a a lot of things I probably shouldn't have at that age. I understood more than people thought I did. Children are so often underestimated. The people at Via Christi were incredible, but that couldn't make the pendulum stop swinging.

I watched him suffer for 36 days. But it only took me 4 or 5 to make a connection in my head. My Daddy was just like the phoenix from 'Harry Potter'. Legendary and heroic, and willing to sacrifice everything for other people. And he to, I believed, would be reborn from the ashes. So I read 'Harry Potter' to him. For books can heal many wounds.

But it was not to be.

However, just like a phoenix, he will be remembered and forever loved. And so it was with that thought I created the idea of having a library in Via Christi. So many families get torn apart by burns. I believe books can help to heal.

So it seems only fitting that I begin this library with the two books I believed so strongly would heal.

In honor of my hero, my Daddy, I am pleased to present the very first two books to the Via Christ Burn Center.