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A grandson’s care leads Ward and Julia Marslender of Raleigh, N.C., to establish a $1 million bequest that will help UNC Children’s train the next generation of pediatric specialists in nephrology and urology.
Republished with permission from UNC Health Care.

Written by Danielle Bates

It’s been nearly three years since their grandson, William, had his last major surgery, but walking past the surgical waiting room on the second floor of N.C. Children’s Hospital, Ward and Julia Marslender remember the anxiety and anticipation they felt that long ago day in May 2012.

“Looking at those families really takes me back,” says Julia, the diminutive lady known to her grandchildren as “Big J,” her eyes reflecting heartfelt empathy. “The waiting is the hardest part, even when you know they’re in good hands.”

The Marslenders, joined by 6-year-old William and their four children, recently toured the hospital as guests of honor. The celebration visit was organized by William’s care team and hospital leadership to honor “Big J” and “Granddaddy” for their $1 million gift to UNC Children’s. The $1 million charitable remainder unitrust establishes the W. Ward and Julia E. Marslender Pediatric Kidney Education Fund.

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