Nick Foligno donates $1M to hospitals that saved daughter’s life

Nick Folingo scored three goals as the Columbus Blue Jackets dominated the New Jersey Devils 6-1.

Milana Maria Foligno was born in October 2013 with a life-threatening congenital heart defect.

The daughter of Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno and wife Janelle turned to pediatric heart specialists at two hospitals, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus and Boston Children’s Hospital, to help save Milana’s life.

Nationwide Children’s diagnosed Milana when she was three weeks old, and Boston Children’s performed life-saving surgery.

On Tuesday the hospitals announced that the Foligno family donated $500,000 to each of them. The generous gift will be used for cardiovascular research and heart care.

“From the beginning of this journey with Milana, one thing was constant — we knew we wanted to help others who would find themselves in a situation like ours,” Nick Foligno said in a release.

“It was important to us to bring awareness to congenital heart defects and fetal cardiology so families could have an understanding and a chance to fight for their child.”

In acknowledgement of the donation, Nationwide Children’s will house the newly named Foligno Family Cardiovascular Research Lab.

“We are honoured to receive this support from Nick and Janelle Foligno,” said Jim Digan, president of the hospital’s foundation. “Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect, affecting approximately one percent of the population. Their personal story affects far too many families in our country.”

“We wanted to do it anonymously, but when both hospitals voiced that this could make such an impact and was such a good cause for other people, we decided to do it publicly,” Janelle Foligno told “We’re really happy with our decision, and hopefully we can bring a lot of awareness to congenital heart defects and to both hospitals and the amazing work both are doing and many hospitals all over the world are doing.”

Milana will celebrate her third birthday on Friday.

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