Annual Fundraiser Celebrates the Life of Local Toddler


Sidewalks were extra colorful outside the University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in mid-August thanks to the talented attendees of Colors for Colette, an annual fundraiser celebrating the life of Colette Piazza. Artists used chalk to create inspiring messages of hope as part of an effort to stand up to childhood cancer. The event was created by Tim and Katie Piazza as a tribute to their 21-month-old daughter, Colette, who died from a brain tumor in 2019.

Colette’s Journey

As an infant, Colette had normal one- and two-month check-ups. At 10 weeks everything changed seemingly overnight as she had become inconsolable and had lost all control of her head. Katie and Tim took her to the emergency department at UH Parma Medical Center, and from there to UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s. An MRI scan showed Colette had a tumor roughly the size of 1/3 of her brain.

Colette spent the majority of her first eight months at UH Rainbow, including every “first” holiday, in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and cancer units. After six months of chemo, surgeries, and stem cell transplants, she finally went home. At nine months, Colette had her third craniotomy followed by outpatient radiation. Tragically, the tumor returned in May 2019 and Colette passed away on May 31, 2019 at just 21 months.

Celebration of Life

The annual fundraiser, Colors for Colette, is held each year in August near Colette’s birthday. The Piazza family says the annual fundraiser is just a small way of giving back to the hospital that helped them through such a difficult time. “What Rainbow gave us is irreplaceable and we’re so happy to be able to give a little something back," said Katie.

In addition to decorating sidewalks, event participants were able to enjoy many activities outside of the hospital including face-painting, dunk tanks featuring ‘dunk-a-doc’ and many other colorful activities. This year’s event raised more than $20,000 to support UH Rainbow. For more information on the event and how you can make a donation, visit