Parents-to-be Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have been publicly praised for helping to raise funds for a children's hospital in the rapper's native Illinois after requesting charity donations in lieu of lavish baby gifts. Reality TV beauty Kardashian is due to give birth to the couple's first child this summer (13) and the stars have decided to shun traditional presents from friends and family in favour of cash for the Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago. Now, a representative for the medical centre has applauded West and Kardashian's generous gesture, insisting their association with the cause will help to save babies' lives. A statement released by the facility reads: "Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago would like to extend its sincerest gratitude to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West for their thoughtfulness and support of the hospital. "Funds donated on behalf of Kardashian and West will be directed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Fund which will help care for the most critically ill babies and their families. "We wish them all the best in the upcoming arrival of their baby."