Philanthropy

All Articles in the Category ‘Philanthropy’

A dedication to pediatric research: The man behind the largest charitable gift in Seattle Children’s history

Jack Rupert MacDonald

Jack Rupert MacDonald

UPDATE: In honor of Jack MacDonald’s $75.04 million legacy gift to Seattle Children’s Research Institute, we will name the Research Institute’s Building 1 in his honor. Effective Jan. 31, the new name of Building 1, which is located in downtown Seattle, will be the Jack R. MacDonald Building. Signage on the building reflecting the new name will be up by the end of this month.

Today, Seattle Children’s announced it has received the single largest charitable gift in its 106-year history, and also the largest known gift to a U.S. children’s hospital for pediatric research. The landmark bequest, a $187.6 million charitable trust from the estate of Jack Rupert MacDonald, was given to Seattle Children’s, the University of Washington (UW) School of Law and The Salvation Army – organizations that held great meaning for Jack.

Each year, the three organizations will receive income earned by the trust. Children’s will receive 40 percent of the yearly income, which in the first year will equate to approximately $3.75 million. MacDonald’s pledge to Children’s was first announced in 2011 as being anonymous.

At Children’s, MacDonald’s legacy will be used to fund pediatric research taking place at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Jack decided to support research when he learned it was an important priority for the hospital and will support the organization’s quest to find better treatments and cures for childhood disease worldwide.

“Jack’s gift is an inspiration to all of us. It is one of the largest ever to a children’s hospital. And it is the largest single gift in support of pediatric research,” said Doug Picha, President of Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation and a friend to Jack for many years. “It is transformational not only in what it will do to help us find more cures and better treatments, but also by forcing each of us personally to reflect on the legacy we would like to leave.”

So, you may ask, who was Jack MacDonald? Who was the man behind this incredible gift that will impact so many lives for generations to come?

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Quingo makes gaming fun and charitable, helping fund pediatric research

Screenshot - choose your charityPlaying games for charity may sound too good to be true, but that’s exactly what Brandon Bozzi, Morgan Belford and their Seattle startup Game it Forward had in mind when they created Quingo, a game which benefits six organizations, including Seattle Children’s. Quingo, which combines charitable giving, bingo and trivia, supports Children’s by donating a portion of its revenue to fund hospital specific initiatives, like research.

As research is a primary focus at Children’s, a project was created with Quingo to help exclusively fund pediatric research that could one day lead to better treatments and new cures for childhood diseases.

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Halloween in the hospital

Kid Painting PumpkinHalloween is meant to be the spookiest night of year. Full of ghouls, goblins and ghosts, it’s the one time we delight in all things that go bump in the night. But for children and families who will be spending Halloween in the hospital, it’s difficult for them to enjoy the holiday festivities. This is why Spirit Halloween, the largest seasonal Halloween retailer in North America, brings fantasy and fun to Seattle Children’s Hospital every Halloween, with costumes, crafts and pumpkin painting.

Since 2006, Spirit Halloween and their Spirit of Children Program has made sure every patient gets the opportunity to transform into the superhero, princess or character of their dreams. They also provide funding to Seattle Children’s through their Spirit of Children Program.

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The inner ear may hold a clue in the quest to find the cause of SIDS

Infant ear

Daniel Rubens, MD, is not your average researcher. He’ll tell you for starters, that he’s not technically a researcher, but rather an anesthesiologist. His team is small:  Travis Allen, a nurse anesthetist at Seattle Children’s, volunteers his free time to work alongside Rubens, who is also supported by staff and leaders at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Washington.

Since 2007, Rubens has spent no more than $100,000 on his research on SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. A big chunk of those funds, $60,000, came from a fundraiser held in Florida by a mother who lost her child to SIDS. She read about Rubens’ research, contacted him out of the blue and wanted to support his efforts.

Rubens’ experience dealing with infants in crisis inspired him to seek an answer to the unsolved mystery of SIDS, and his latest study published in Neuroscience—offers up more clues on the premise that the syndrome may be related to dysfunction within the inner ear. “I was always drawn to the mystery of SIDS,” Rubens said. “I’ve read the literature over the years, and it struck me that there’s so much we don’t know,” he said, when asked what initially piqued his interest.

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Patient Voices: Kat becomes titanium girl, makes a difference for future cancer patients

Hello my name is Kat Tiscornia and up until March of 2013 I was your typical 8th grader. I loved horseback riding, eventing to be more specific, skiing and spending time with friends and family. Then it all changed. I went to the doctor to have a large bump on my thigh checked out.  I was told what I thought might be a bad bruise had a high probability of being cancer.

After many tests, two biopsy surgeries for my lung and my leg, and a stressful couple of weeks, I was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing sarcoma. There are approximately 200 new diagnoses of the disease in the U.S. each year. Read full post »

Patient voices: Hunter Schroeder celebrates two years cancer free

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we are sharing a series of stories about some of our incredible patients who have overcome cancer or are currently fighting the disease.

Hunter Schroeder OBK at Ballpark 8.25.13On Sept. 19, 2013, 8-year-old Hunter Schroeder celebrated one of the biggest milestones of his life – it marked his second year cancer free.

“He’s perfect.”

That’s all his mother, Heather Schroeder, heard when the tests results came back from his two-year checkup. And with that, the weight of the world lifted off her shoulders. She was finally able to relax and breathe again.

He was healthy and perfect, exactly what she’d been praying to hear ever since her son was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a cancer of the myeloid cells, in 2011.

“It’s taken a while stop panicking about every bruise and every fever, and to see the hospital and not think his cancer has come back. But after two years, we’re finally getting there,” said Heather. “We’re finally getting back to normal, or at least adjusting to our new normal.”

She can, however, vividly remember the difficult time when the bruises on Hunter’s body did signify something very wrong with her little boy. Read full post »

All for one and one for all in the battle against childhood cancer

collaborate

It’s 9 a.m. on a recent rainy morning in Seattle. Julie Park, MD, has her shoes drying out by the heater in her office at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She’s on a conference call with doctors and statisticians from Germany, Canada, the U.S. and Europe, and they’re discussing neuroblastoma, the most common solid tumor in children younger than 1 year of age.

Park leads the Neuroblastoma Committee for the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the world’s largest organization devoted to childhood and adolescent cancer research. COG is supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and unites more than 8,000 experts at more than 200 leading children’s hospitals, universities and cancer centers across North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

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Patient voices: Jake beats cancer, starts new life at college

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we will be sharing a series of stories about some of our incredible patients who have overcome cancer or are currently fighting the disease.

In the beginning of June 2012, Jake Steiner was on top of the world. At age 18, he had just graduated high school and was looking forward to working as a camp counselor at the Museum of Flight in Seattle over the summer. He would then be heading off to college at Santa Clara University in the fall. Life was good.

That is, until one week after graduation.

Jake had noticed a pain in his leg and he had a bump on the backside of hip bone that was about the size of his hand. He thought he had just pulled a muscle and a little TLC would take care of it, but his dad took him to a doctor because the bump was so large.

It was then that he got an MRI and received some of the worst news of his life: He was told that the bump was a malignant tumor, and after three weeks, he learned it was Ewing sarcoma. Ewing sarcoma is a bone cancer that mainly affects children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 20 years old. It’s the second most common bone cancer in children, but only accounts for about 1 percent of all childhood cancers. There are about 200 new diagnoses of the disease in people younger than 20 years old in the U.S. each year.

“I didn’t know what my future was going to hold, but I knew I was not going to be able to go to college in the fall, which really bummed me out,” said Jake. “I was also very scared because I thought I caught it too late and I didn’t know if the cancer had spread. I thought I would die young, and that terrified me.”

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Research, philanthropy a welcome fit in current funding climate

Rolled money in a test tube

Headlines these days related to research funding are grim: “Seattle researchers fear federal cuts will costs lives and jobs” and “Show me the money: Is grant writing taking over science?” are two recent stories that ran in the Puget Sound Business Journal and The Guardian, respectively.

The federal government announced in May that the National Institutes of Health 2013 budget will drop by five percent, or $1.71 billion, to $29.15 billion, compared to 2012. The cuts are part of the effort to balance the budget and, based on what our researchers say, are part of the “new normal” moving forward.

But there’s a bright spot here at Seattle Children’s: Philanthropy for research is increasing, and it’s making a difference.

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Couple turns their big day into a big gift for kids

Marc and Shaquita_print Dishes, silverware, small appliances, sheets, towels. Home essentials like these appear on nearly all wedding gift registries. But for Shaquita Bell, MD, a primary care pediatrician at Seattle Children’s, and her fiance, Marc Stamm Boyer, giving their wedding guests a wish list of stuff for themselves just didn’t feel right.

“We are at a point in our lives where we have the things we need and the things we want,” says Boyer. “It seemed silly to say, ‘Hey, you know how we have all this silverware? We should totally get some more.’”

But knowing that guests might insist on giving a gift, they put their heads together to come up with another option: “registering” for donations to Seattle Children’s.

“If our guests want to spend money on our wedding, we’d rather it go toward something inherently good,” says Boyer. Read full post »