A big reason for honoring Dr. Richard Rink, M.D.
September 21, 2021
In 1986, Mark and Jane Ellen Tarpey’s son, Nick, was admitted to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health at six weeks old with posterior urethral valves, an issue that needed to be addressed surgically.
During Nick’s first stay as an infant, the Tarpeys met world-renowned Riley Pediatric Urologist Richard Rink, M.D., and nurse practitioner Shelly King.
“Little did we know that they would be part of our lives for the next 20 years,” said Mark.
Nick’s condition was addressed with a variety of visits for the next few years, and at age 5, he was back at Riley for an extensive 7 ½ hour procedure.
“We were so impressed that after such a long surgery, Dr. Rink was back at the hospital at 11 p.m. to check on Nick’s incision,” Mark said. “We knew we were in the right place.”
Nick was in and out of Riley throughout his childhood and adolescence, and Dr. Rink and King were consistently part of his care.
Nick went on to graduate from Indiana University and served on the board of IU Dance Marathon to benefit Riley. Nick and his wife Amanda recently welcomed their first son, Henry.
After Mark and Jane Ellen retired, they began volunteering at Riley – Mark in the library and Jane Ellen with the Child Life team. They also decided to give back financially, designating gifts to Riley Children’s Foundation through their IRA required minimum distributions.
“Volunteering is one way to give back; money is another,” Mark said.
“We felt strongly about doing both at this point in our lives,” Mark said. “We would certainly encourage anyone who has been involved with Riley either directly or indirectly to consider ways they could help.”
This year, the Tarpeys contributed to the Dr. Richard C. Rink Fund for Advancement in Urology. The newly created fund honors Dr. Rink and will help improve the care of children with urologic conditions by funding ongoing clinical research and education. The fund will also help with recruiting and retaining top-notch talent within the urology department.
“Riley is known for its wonderful research, and that’s so important for the future health of all children,” Jane Ellen said. “They are going to save lives, of children now and in the future.”
The Tarpeys have an even bigger reason for honoring Dr. Rink.
“He saved Nick’s life,” Jane Ellen said.