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Donor Spotlight: Linda and Mark Abendroth

Helping others and giving back in any way possible is something Linda and Mark Abendroth love to do.

These grandparents of 13 have seen six of their grandchildren – one of which passed away –treated at MercyOne Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and are now giving back as a way to help babies treated in the NICU.

Linda explained that every time her family found themselves in the NICU, the staff and physicians they interacted with were all very caring and empathetic to what the moms, dads and families were experiencing.

“From the minute you walk in the door, they make you feel comforted and at home,” said Linda. “Their kindness, generosity and sympathies meant so much to us, and the care they gave to us and my family was above and beyond anything I have ever experienced.”

“It was heavy on our hearts to do something for the NICU since they have done so much for us, our family and especially our grandchildren,” said Linda.

Linda and Mark provided funds for a CPR mannequin, which is used to educate parents on how to care for their child in an emergency situation and turtle tubs, which are utilized daily and create an immersion swaddle bath experience that helps educate parents on how to care their infant. Both these items have already had a positive impact on the families and staff in the NICU.

“When we heard how thrilled the NICU staff were to receive these items, it made us so happy,” said Linda.

In addition to funding these items, Linda also volunteers weekly at the NICU. She expressed how she enjoys helping in any way she can by cleaning, organizing, doing laundry and even cuddling and holding babies whose parents are away.

“MercyOne Children’s Hospital’s NICU does such great things for those parents and new precious children,” said Linda. “I just can’t think of a better place to volunteer our time and efforts, it’s the highlight of my week to volunteer there.”

Linda and Mark hope to continue supporting the NICU for years to come. Even though their grandchildren have all graduated from the NICU, the care they receive has made a lasting impression.

“The NICU nurses, physicians and staff aren’t just there doing a job, they are there to be a friend and mentor,” said Linda. “They are so good about showing and teaching and encouraging and all those things these parents need to feel comfortable with those new little people they’ve brought into the world.”

If you would like to support the MercyOne Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, please contact MercyOne Des Moines Foundation Senior Director of Development, Sophia Ahmad at or 515-643-8035.

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