Dolly Parton Donates $1 Million to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville

Dolly Parton recently announced that she would donate $1 million to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville in honor of her niece, Hannah Dennison, who was diagnosed with Leukemia as a child.

Parton shared the news during a visit to patients at the hospital in October while she was promoting her children's album, I Believe in You, with the star explaining that Dennison was treated at Vanderbilt for four years before going into remission.

"The reason I'm here today is because I have a very special reason to be fond of this hospital," the country legend told those gathered to see her. She was joined by Dennison, now 28, and her mother, Rachel, who is Parton's sister.

Parton told the crowd that while Dennison was being treated, she wrote songs to help her niece through her battle.

"When Hannah was sick, we felt it was really important, the rest of the family, that we did something to help Rachel and Richard in their journey," the singer explained. "So I love the music of course, so I wrote the songs and I used to put together little songs with Hannah's friends and our little cousins so Hannah had something to listen to."

The 71-year-old added that since the hospital means so much to her and her family, she wanted to donate $1 million to the facility.

"I know that it's so important to take care of children whether they're sick or whether they're well, especially when you're not feeling good," she said.

Parton also shared that two of the songs on I Believe in You, "Chemo Hero" and "Brave Little Soldier," were inspired by her niece.


Proceeds from album sales of I Believe in You will go toward the singer's charity, the Imagination Library.

Photo Credit: Getty / Ian Gavan