\u00a0\nNoelle Conover is certain her late son Matt would love Matt\u2019s Maker Space, a project at the Children\u2019s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.\n\u201cHe was always a \u2018maker,'\u201d says the 58-year-old Mt. Lebanon resident. \u201cHe loved puzzles, Legos, chemistry \u2014 anything that was hands-on.\u201d\nMatt passed away in 2002 at age 12, just a few months after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin\u2019s lymphoma. Ever since, Noelle has devoted endless hours to keeping his memory alive by helping other families cope with pediatric cancer.\n \r\n \r\n Get inspired. Sign up for the HealthBeat Newsletter. \r\n \r\n Enter your email to subscribe\r\n \r\n \r\n\t \r\n \r\n Continue\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n I understand that by providing my email address, I agree to receive emails from UPMC. I understand that I may opt out of receiving such communications at any time.\r\n \r\n \r\n \nA Passion for Helping\nNoelle works as the project coordinator for the SurvivorConnect program\u00a0at Children\u2019s, part of the Division of Hematology\/Oncology\u2019s Pediatric Cancer Survivorship Clinic. \u201cWe follow 600-plus survivors of pediatric cancer,\u201d she says. \u201cIt\u2019s a passion for me. What we went through with Matt helps me advocate for them.\u201d Those in the program are at least five years post-treatment, with an average age of about 20, she notes. \u201cMany of them don\u2019t even remember being treated as a child.\u201d\nBecause more and more children are surviving pediatric cancers, SurvivorConnect helps families navigate \u201cnew, uncharted territory,\u201d Noelle says. During annual check-ups, patients are screened for thyroid and heart issues and can request referrals for specialists or social services.\n\u201cWe do wellness and educational events, as well as outings like a picnic at Kennywood,\u201d says Noelle. \u201cWe celebrate survivors; it\u2019s like we\u2019re their cheerleaders.\u201d\nGiving Back Through Philanthropy\nIn addition to her work with SurvivorConnect, Noelle and her family have been instrumental in bringing other changes to Children\u2019s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.\n\u201cSome time after Matt passed away, I got a call from a woman at the Children\u2019s Hospital Foundation asking if I wanted to get involved with their work,\u201d she says. \u201cMy initial reaction was: \u2018No, why would I?'\u201d After a second call a few months later, Noelle changed her mind. \u201cThey were building a new hospital, and they wanted our perspective on what they could do better. I realized I might be able to help other families because of what we went through.\u201d\nIn 2009, the Conovers became donors to Children\u2019s. They opened Matt\u2019s Media 4 Kids with Cancer, which provides gaming, movies, and computers for kids on the inpatient hematology\/oncology unit.\n\u201cAs a donor, you don\u2019t always know where the needs are, but as a patient\u2019s family, you see them,\u201d Noelle says.\nMatt\u2019s Maker Spaces\nNoelle\u2019s latest project at Children\u2019s is raising money for Matt\u2019s Maker Spaces \u2014 a hands-on, cutting-edge place for kids to explore STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). In the Matt\u2019s Maker Spaces, patients use 3-D printers or computers to complete projects or solve problems.\nThe concept has gone beyond the hospital\u2019s walls. In 2016, the Conovers helped fund Matt\u2019s Maker Spaces in each of the seven elementary schools in the Mt. Lebanon School District. Going forward, the plan is to open at least one Matt\u2019s Maker Space each year. Children\u2019s is also working with the Conovers and Dave\u2019s employer, Ansys, to deliver hands-on making programs in the Maker Spaces with partners such as the Children\u2019s Museum of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Science Center.\nNoelle never intended to be one of the life changers at Children\u2019s \u2014 but that\u2019s exactly where she ended up.\n\u201cI\u2019m in a unique position because I\u2019ve worn all four hats \u2014 the mom of a patient, a volunteer, an employee, and a donor,\u201d says Noelle. \u201cIt\u2019s an amazing place. If my family could get through this with the help of Children\u2019s, there\u2019s hope for other families, too.\u201d\nTo get involved and learn more about Matt\u2019s Maker Spaces, visit Children\u2019s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.