Josh Cares: Nonprofit's mission to ensure kids aren't lonely, scared during long hospital stays

Program serves patients at Cincinnati Children's

Troy Pearce was on a family vacation at Lake Cumberland when his 6-year-old son broke his leg so badly that the little guy needed surgery.

“That’s when it all started,” said Pearce, who lives in Union.

What started that day in 2010 was a series of medical emergencies that turned his family life upside down. Pearce’s wife, Sarah, was pregnant with triplets and went on bed rest at Good Samaritan Hospital two weeks later. Little Hagen’s leg was hurt so badly that he missed the last two months of kindergarten. And the couple had a 2-year-old boy, Catcher, at home, too.

That was a lot to juggle for Pearce, who also has a downtown dental practice to maintain. But it got even more hectic.

The triplets were born nine weeks early, and Presley, the smallest, was so sick that he was rushed to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center two days after he was born.

At that point, Pearce had his wife and two babies in one hospital, a third baby at another hospital, one son at home with a broken leg and another toddler in the mix.

“We had really kind of a tough go there for a little bit,” Pearce said.

That’s where Josh Cares came in.

The Cincinnati-based nonprofit has a team of trained “child life specialists,” professional caregivers who spend time with critically and chronically ill children at the hospital when their families can’t be there.

Insiders can read more about Josh Cares, how the organization was founded and what its work means to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

The nonprofit's next major fundraiser is called Food Truckin’ for Josh Cares: Presented by General Mills and Kroger. Rockfish is the communications sponsor. Ten food trucks will be at Fountain Square downtown from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday June 18. For more information, go to

To view a promotional video about the nonprofit, click here or go to

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