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Family of Teegan Kamzelski makes $1 million gift for mental health services at Akron Children’s Hospital in the Mahoning Valley

From left, Alex Thompson (Teegan’s half-brother); Christopher Thompson (Teegan’s father); and Kyle Thompson (Teegan’s half-brother) at the dedication May 28.

06-02-2021 (Mahoning Valley, Ohio)

A $1 million donation to help children and youth who need mental and behavioral health care is being recognized with the naming of the Teegan Kamzelski Building, home for behavioral health programs at Akron Children’s Hospital in the Mahoning Valley. 

Christopher Thompson, of North Benton, and his family made the gift through the donation of a life insurance policy in memory of Thompson’s son, Teegan Kamzelski, who died by suicide at the age of 24. Thompson said he hopes the gift will allow children and youth in the Mahoning Valley to continue to get the care they need though Akron Children’s.  

“If we could get treatment for children at a younger age, we could change the pathways of these kids’ lives,” he said. “The behavioral health program is so important to us and needs support because no one is immune to this disease.” 

His family said Kamzelski, a Hubbard High School graduate, left a mark on his community and everyone he knew. He never met a stranger and was always willing to step in and help when anyone needed it. As a self-taught master carpenter, his creativity and craftsmanship live on in the work he did. And now, through the family’s gift and the naming of the Teegan Kamzelski Building, his story and the support of his family and friends will provide help for youths facing mental and behavioral health issues. 

Thompson hopes that the family’s financial support of the hospital’s programs will make it easier for children and teens to get the help they need. 

“Treatment for mental and behavioral health issues is so dear to my heart, but it carries such a negative stigma,” he said. “It is so overlooked and undertreated because people are ashamed. No one should be ashamed.” 

The gift will support the programs and services offered by Akron Children’s in its Lois and John Orr Family Behavioral Health Center in the Mahoning Valley. Care is offered there with the Partial Hospitalization Program, Intensive Outpatient Program, and counseling and support services. Akron Children’s expanded its Mahoning Valley programs in the building, located at 6614 Southern Blvd., Suite E, in December 2019. 

“We are so grateful to Mr. Thompson and his family for their thoughtful gift that will help us provide behavioral health support to children and teens,” said Shelly Brown, vice president of development for Akron Children’s Hospital. “The need is there, and thanks to the Thompsons, more families in need of mental health care will be able to access it closer to home.”  

Akron Children’s honored the Thompsons and unveiled the building name at a private event May 28. 

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