In the fall of 2009, Nicolette Moinet, founder of the Dean Thomas Moinet Foundation, met a beautiful, medically fragile baby named Megan Dean. Nicolette was a Developmental Therapist at the time serving children with special needs in her community when Megan’s name was added to her caseload.
Upon meeting Megan, Nicolette learned about her complex medical condition and the family’s burden when Megan received a diagnosis of Hurlers Syndrome. Both Megan and her older sister, Evline, were diagnosed with these disease. The family also traveled long distances from Kentucky to receive specialized treatment at the Pediatric Bone Marrow Unit in Duke Hospital, leaving them without any support in the area.
While working with Megan in therapy, Nicolette quickly became attached and recognized the pressing need to support the family however she could. Their need was threefold: housing support, spiritual support, and emotional support. Nicolette saw what hospital life looked like firsthand and noted how the families there needed to be loved and cared for – the way that Jesus calls us to love one another. Nicolette’s connection to Megan’s mother, grandmother, and brother became a deep bond filled with memories of toy saxophones, butterflies, popsicles, tears, and laughter. It was rooted in love for Megan.
On July 30, 2010, Megan Dean passed away at 19 months old. But meeting her changed Nicolette’s life forever. This prompted her to ask herself, “What happens when families travel to the hospital for treatment and don’t have their friends, families, or church in the area to support them? Is this common? Are they watching their child come close to death, or even worse, die alone?” It wasn’t long afterwards that Nicolette decided to do something.
The mission was developed – to facilitate a relationship between local churches and local hospitals to meet the holistic needs of families with medically fragile children. In 2013, DTM Foundation received its 501(c)3 status, and began serving families at Duke Hospital in 2014, the same unit where Megan and her sister Evline had been treated. In 2015, DTM began serving families at UNC Hospital. Since it’s inception, it has partnered with numerous local nonprofits and churches, and built lasting relationships with hospital medical staff.
Nicolette knew that God placed Megan in her life for this reason. Her calling was to bring Christ’s love into the hospitals in order to let families know that they are NOT alone. DTM also seeks to ignite a passion in local churches to serve these families and raise awareness in the community of what these families face on a daily basis.