When Nick Ghiz was 27 years old, he discovered the secret to life. After years of battling addiction and mental health issues, he spent three days at a motivational conference in Dallas that would change the course of his life and, eventually, the lives of countless others.

“During the conference, there was a lot of talk about the power of giving,” Nick, now 35, says. “For whatever reason, that really struck a chord with me. I knew from that point on that nothing was more important than giving back, and it felt like I’d unlocked that secret code, that key to life that everyone is looking for.”

When he returned home to Phoenix, he began making weekly donations to Phoenix Children’s and soon enlisted the rest of his family to join him in supporting the hospital. Thanks to the Ghiz family’s long-standing commitment to giving back, it wasn’t a hard sell.

“Growing up, I was able to witness both my mom and my dad always giving back to their community through donations, through their church, or just helping people out whenever they saw a need,” Nick says. “We’d never pass a homeless person on the street without giving them either food or money. Tangible things like that really left an impact on us kids.”

A family commitment

In 2019, the entire Ghiz family—Nick, his siblings Annalise and Anthony, and parents Buzz and Janice—wanted to make a tangible difference. Buzz and Janice met Jared T. Muenzer, MD, MBA, chief physician executive at Phoenix Children’s and COO of Phoenix Children’s Medical Group, and were moved by the work at Phoenix Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD).

The whole family made a generous contribution to fund clinical research at the center permanently. The gift not only gave Phoenix Children’s the resources it needed year after year to pursue a cure for cancer, but it also connected the Ghiz family legacy to Phoenix Children’s for decades to come. Today, Buzz sits on the CCBD Advisory Board.

But that was just the beginning. Nick wanted to find a cause even closer to home. “My greatest struggle in life is mental health,” he says. “So, I thought, how do I turn that into my greatest strength?”

To do that, Nick and Anthony, co-founders of Paramount Luxury Development, decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from every home sale to support Phoenix Children’s patient families and mental health initiatives. The brothers say connecting their philanthropy to a profitable enterprise like Paramount ensures they can consistently offer significant gifts to improve mental health care. “We have been given the opportunity to receive so much—and the opportunity to share,” says Anthony, who also volunteers weekly at Phoenix Children’s Child Life Zone, a unique state-of-the-art therapeutic play area.

Building a lasting impact

Paramount Luxury recently sold its first home under the partnership—resulting in a $25,000 gift to benefit the health system’s emergency mental health services—and Nick and Anthony are eager to see what the future holds. They are vocal mental health advocates and happy to share their story, but the branch into pediatric mental health care isn’t about their family; it’s about something bigger. They’ve learned how COVID-19 magnified the mental health crisis, especially for young people, and how emergency departments are still overfilled with children in need.

“I don’t know if I will have kids in the future or not, but I’m a believer in building my legacy,” Nick says. “Right now, my kids are the Phoenix Children’s kids. Those kids are my legacy.”

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