“I can’t imagine getting better care anywhere else.”

“I love having access to Kentucky Children’s Hospital, because God forbid, if something happened that’s not easily treatable—it’s right here, and you know you’re going to get the utmost care. You know you have access to every type of doctor you need. They make it such a beautiful, comfortable environment. We didn’t have the access to health care before that we have here. That’s a very comforting thing, especially when you have three kids.”

Kelley pushes Gabriella and Olivia on a green swing set at the park.
It’s hard to slow the Buffano girls down—at home, or anywhere else.

Kelley Buffano’s family has been through their share of bumps and bruises over the years. With three active daughters from six to twelve years old, it’s inevitable. But Kelley and her husband Frank, an assistant coach for UK Football, have relied on Kentucky Children’s Hospital for care every time. They’ve visited for everything from swimmer’s ear (for Kelley’s oldest, Isabella) to emergency care and stitches after a fall (for her youngest, Olivia). When Kelley’s middle daughter, Gabriella, appeared to have a cut on her genital area, Kelley knew just who to call to find out what was wrong.

Frank Buffano, a middle-aged white man with brown hair, looks up and over his shoulder during a football game. He holds a clipboard and a pen and is wearing a blue UK coaching shirt.
The Buffanos are one of the many UK Football staff families with young children. Many rely on Kentucky Children’s Hospital for care.

“I had thought it was a cut, and I was like, ‘I don’t know how she would get a cut down there.’ We were seeing Dr. [Kimberly] Ringley at the time and she called in another doctor to look at it. Next, we went to the hematology department that’s connected with the oncology department. I, of course, was bawling in the office because I’m like, ‘What’s wrong with my child?’ They told me, ‘Kelley, it’s going to be fine. This is what it is: it’s a hemangioma.’ They were very hands-on and they made us very comfortable. They treated her with drops and it was a very quick turnaround for it to be treated and healed.”

Gabriella Buffano, approximately 10 years old, holds onto a piece of playground equipment, swinging by her arms and grinning. She is wearing a white skirt, a gray tank top, and glasses.
Gabriella, Kelley and Frank’s “spitfire” middle daughter, takes a spin on the playground at Woodland Park.

Thanks to that diagnosis, Gabriella was able to be treated and healed up rapidly. She hasn’t had any further complications with hemangiomas—a birthmark formed from a nodule of extra blood vessels. But if that issue, or any others, come up again, Kelley finds great comfort in knowing her daughters’ doctors are always just a call away.

The Buffano sisters stand next to each other on a tennis court. Isabella, the oldest, has her arms around her younger sisters. All are smiling.
“Three girls is a lot. And they’re wonderful. It’s funny how unique and different they are.”

“I appreciate Dr. [Scottie] Day, and I appreciate that I could text him right now or call him and he would have no issues with that. I love the approachability of it. I think that gives parents a lot of comfort knowing that they don’t have to go through leaps and bounds just to get answers.”

An action shot of Isabella, 12 years old, on the tennis court. She is wearing a white skirt and a gray tank top, and her curly brown hair is pulled back inn a ponytail.
Isabella, the oldest Buffano sister, has recently gotten into tennis, and loves it.

As one of many young families on the football staff, the Buffanos are a part of the wide-ranging relationship between the team and Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Led by Coach Stoops and his wife, Chantel, the entire Kentucky Football family has been deeply involved in fundraising, volunteering, and supporting the mission of the hospital. For Kelley, it’s all about making sure that every family in the community can receive the care that she and her daughters have experienced.

Olivia Buffano, six years old, comes down a slide. She has blonde hair with a black bow in it, and is wearing a blue Kentucky shirt, orange sneakers, a black skirt, and pink glasses.
Olivia, Kelley and Frank’s youngest, was born at UK HealthCare. “It was just a great experience,” said Kelley.

“They give you a comfort level that you know your child’s taken care of and you know your child is receiving the best care. That’s what parents want, and that’s what parents deserve.”

Kelley hugs her girls tightly. They are standing in a park. All are smiling.
“God forbid, if one of my children gets anything, I can go ten minutes down the road, and I know I will get the best care.”

See how we care for families like the Buffanos

at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

Charlie, a toddler-age boy with curly brown hair dressed in a green striped onesie, sits on a netted swing with a large home and yard in the background.Maximo Shemwell, a young white boy dressed in UK gear, gives a thumbs up while he sits in a futuristic-looking open car. Next to him, the UK wildcat mascot waves.