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Drew Graduates with Help from Friends at Marriott!

At 8 months, Drew Mattern had surgery to correct his a cleft lip and palette, and was fed by syringe due to pain.

After trying different treatments to help Drew with food, his parents, Tanya and Mike, got referred to the intensive feeding program at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

In March of 2019, a spot finally opened    up!  Tanya and Mike made the quick decision to change their life to help their son.  Tanya took a leave of absence and moved  2 hours west to Grand Rapids. Mike stayed home to work and traveled on his days off to be with his family.

A Home Away from Home

Once in Grand Rapids, Tanya searched for a “home away from home” and found the Residence Inn at the

Grand Rapids Airport.   Helen and Rachel, two employees from the Residence Inn, have been supporting HDVCH, through Children’s Miracle Network Hospital fundraisers.  After an instant connection, Tanya said the decision to stay at the Residence Inn was a “no-brainier”. “Everybody made us feel like home.  From housekeeping, the front desk and other staff, they helped us with everything we needed and more”.

Helen and Rachel expressed how much they would be missed. “For us, this is bitter sweet having to say goodbye to Tanya, Mike and Drew because they have become a part of our family.  Our staff looked forward to seeing Drew each day.  Hearing about how school went, and being there to help cheer him up when he had a rough day”.   They both shared how being able to see first-hand their fundraising efforts help not only the child, but the entire family, made a lasting impression

Graduation Day

Drew graduated from the program after seven weeks, with 16 new foods added to his food options. Tanya and Mike know there will be challenges and tough days ahead, but are excited to see how Drew will grow.

The intensive feeding program at Helen DeVos Children’s hospital is supported through philanthropy from Children’s Miracle Network Partners like Marriott. To learn more how you can get involved, contact Devin Pierson at