Posted June 13, 2017 09:40 am | Updated June 14, 2017 04:40 pm
Nassau parents create foundation to honor late daughter, support aneurysm research
Trinity Love Hoblit’s 14 years of life were filled with medical appointments. But at those many visits to doctor’s offices and hospitals, she was always more concerned for other sick children she encountered than for herself.
“She would close her eyes and put her hands together.… She was praying that they get better,” said her father, Phil Hoblit. “Trinity had a big heart.”
Born in 2001 with primordial dwarfism, she was also diagnosed in 2009 with multiple brain aneurysms and endured multiple brain surgeries. She was scheduled for another surgery when she died in June 2015 of a ruptured aneurysm.
Her parents, Phil and Olivia Hoblit of Fernandina Beach, honored their daughter’s compassion for others by establishing the Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation, which will have its first fundraising gala and auction Saturday. Proceeds will support research at the Walter and Michelle Stys Neuroscience Institute at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and the Baptist Neurological Institute — both part of Baptist Health — and fund related education and public awareness programs.
Some also will go to Trinity’s school, St. Michael Academy in Fernandina Beach.
“When Trinity passed, we felt like she was still with us,” said Olivia Hoblit. “We always ask ourselves, ‘What does Trinity want?’ … It’s to help save lives, to make a difference. This is something Trinity would want. We are continuing Trinity’s legacy.”
Established in 2016, the foundation has already set up a research endowment at Wolfson. A portion of all gifts to the endowment will be matched by the Baptist Health Foundation.
“It makes us feel good knowing that Trinity’s memory and her foundation is making a positive impact by helping save lives. It’s what she had always wanted and prayed for, for people to feel better,” Olivia Hoblit said. “Wherever Trinity went, she left making others feel happy and better about their particular situation. She understood the importance of living life to the fullest at a young age and really cared for and loved everyone.”
The gala is already racking up prominent sponsors, including event site The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, Jaguars Foundation, PRI Productions and CBC National Bank. The emcee and auctioneer will be state Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach. Guest speakers will be two of Trinity’s doctors, Baptist neurosurgeon Ricardo Hanel and Wolfson pediatric neurosurgeon Philipp Aldana.
Public awareness and research funding are critical to the cause, Hanel said.
“[The possibility of] losing a 14-year-old from a ruptured aneurysm is not something people are talking about, but it can happen to anyone,” he said. “It is extremely important … the fact that we’re even talking about it.”
Additional funds are needed for research into early detection and the role family history plays in the development of aneurysms and to hire research fellows, he said.
“Every little something helps,” Hanel said.
He has high hopes for Trinity’s legacy. Although the foundation is new and having its first big fundraiser, it could grow to be a major funder, he said.
“All big events started small,” Hanel said.
Beth Reese Cravey: (904) 359-4109