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Meet the Dietz Family: “I don’t think there’s anything I wouldn’t do for Riley.”

What do hip hop dancing, a retirement gift, and public speaking have in common?

They’re all ways that the Dietz family – Cory, Anne, Hayden, and Brynn – has given back to Riley Children’s Health.

In fact, they supported the hospital even before Hayden, now 16, needed heart surgery as an infant. Hayden’s uncle, Kyle, served on the executive council for Indiana University Dance Marathon as an undergraduate student. The cause became personal after Hayden was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect.

At first, Hayden’s parents, Anne and Cory, took the lead in sharing their family’s story at fundraising events like IUDM. “We feel tremendous gratitude for what Riley has done for us,” Anne says. “If sharing our experiences can be helpful to others, whether helping other families or raising money, we want to continue to give back.”

Cory adds, “I don’t think there’s anything I wouldn’t do for Riley.” He means it. When the invitation came last year to participate in a ballroom dance competition benefiting the hospital, his response was an easy yes.

How did Hayden feel about his dad’s public debut as a dancer? “It was definitely entertaining,” he laughs. “It was cool to see one of my own family members out there.”

A philanthropic spirit – and a passion for Riley – runs deep in the Dietz family. When Hayden’s grandfather, Dave, retired, Do it Best Corporation made a donation to Riley Children’s Foundation in his honor. Dave and his wife, Valli, added to that amount with a gift of their own. A patient room in the Riley Heart Center bears their family’s name in recognition of their support.

Dietz family at Riley room dedication
Dietz family at Riley room dedication (photo provided)

Now that Hayden is older, he sees it as his turn to give back. In his role as a 2024 Riley Champion presented by Kroger, he shares his story to motivate donors and give hope to other Riley kids who are facing their own medical challenges.

Like the rest of his family, he embraces every opportunity to pay it forward. As Cory says, “The one thing we are always trying to fight for is the children who are still finding healing and strength in their journey.”

“Hayden’s success is because of the people who donated before us.”