The better part of the first three years of Daniel “Tiny” Guidry’s life was spent at UTMB.
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was like a second home. In UTMB’s NICU, he received life-saving and specialized care for chronic asthma. His parents, who were from Louisiana, moved to the island to keep their son close to UTMB. After receiving the care he needed, Guidry was able to live a healthy life, and he later began a family of his own.
In 2003, another health crisis brought Guidry back to UTMB.
Guidry’s son, Caden, was born seven and a half weeks premature, and his lungs were failing him.
“I’ve never felt so helpless as a dad than when a doctor came to me to tell me that I might not take my baby’s mother home or my baby home,” Guidry said.
UTMB, just as it did for Guidry, provided restorative and life-saving care to his son, now 20, and to his mother.
And the pediatrician who saved Caden’s life, as fate would have it, also helped care for Guidry all those years ago.
“It is moving beyond words to know that I played a small part in the life of Tiny and Caden and thousands of other babies who were born too soon, too small, or too sick,” said Dr. C. Joan Richardson, professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics. “Against all odds, they recovered, thrived, and are now healthy and happy children and adults, many of whom give back to our Department of Pediatrics through their philanthropy, supporting our efforts to better serve children through research, teaching, and patient care programs. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Among the endowments benefitting the Department of Pediatrics, is one Guidry generously established named BTR Caring for Kids Endowment, which is designed to help meet the department’s needs with support for research, special projects, and patient care. The organization Guidry and his partner, Jason LeMaire established, Bon Temps Rouler (BTR) Cajun Throwdown LLC, is the acronym in the endowment’s name. The non-profit they created, BTR Caring for Kids, is a foundation devoted to expanding the good works BTR and UTMB’s valued partnership has modeled.
Each year, Guidry, LeMaire, and their Bon Temps Rouler team host the BTR Cajun Throwdown, a two-day event featuring live music, Cajun cuisine, and a crawfish cookoff. BTR also sponsors an annual Caring Fore Kids golf tournament and Battle on the Bayou gumbo cookoff. Guidry founded his nonprofit to celebrate his family’s Cajun roots and to give back to his community. The golf tournament, which often features local professional athletes, supports BTR’s endowment at UTMB.
For Guidry, giving back to UTMB was a “no brainer,” he said.
“The people at UTMB genuinely care,” he said. “You are not just a patient. You are a human life.”