My wife (Danielle Gilde) and I created the Elena Gilde Grossfield Trainee Presentation Award to honor the memory of our daughter, Elena (10/28/2010-7/22/2011). Each year, awards are given to the best poster and best talk given by a student or postdoc at the annual Biophysics graduate retreat; the winners receive a check, and their names are added to a plaque hung the Stotz Room here at the medical school.
Elena had a rare genetic disorder called Alagille Syndrome, which can cause issues with the liver, kidney, heart, or other systems. Elena had severe liver problems, which made it difficult for her to absorb fat and fat-soluble vitamins from food. As a result, she was very small and fragile, and very vulnerable to injury.
Elena was an intensely social baby. Everyone who walked into the room was greeted with a small smile; any eye contact was rewarded with a giant gummy grin. She loved to be held and played with.
If you are interested in contributing to the “Elena Fund”, you can follow this link. Specify that you want your gift targeted to the Biophysics endowment (you’ll have to write it in), and please mention the Elena Gilde Grossfield Trainee Presentation Award to ensure that your gift is targeted appropriately.