All Articles in the Category ‘Philanthropy’

From hopeless to cancer free

AmainLast fall, 20-year-old Milton Wright III was given a death sentence. Today, he is expected to live a long, healthy life. This is the incredible story of how two determined researchers and the parents of a young boy came together to save him.

On Sept. 18, 2013, 20-year-old Milton Wright III walked into Seattle Children’s Hospital and received some devastating news.

Leukemia. Again. The third time in his young life, to be precise.

Wright wasn’t surprised by the diagnosis. He had been worried his cancer was back and went to the hospital alone to avoid worrying his mom and three younger siblings. Still, the news was paralyzing.

“I really felt like I was coming up in the world,” he said. “I thought I was done with cancer.”

Then the news got worse. Wright’s leukemia had become resistant to chemotherapy. A bone marrow transplant could cure his cancer, but he would have to be in remission first, and that couldn’t happen without chemotherapy. His chances of survival were dismal. Read full post »

Ruth Benfield and Dr. Ed Marcuse begin their retirement by honoring the Journey Program

Dr. Ed Marcuse, left, and Ruth Benfield, right

Dr. Ed Marcuse, left, and Ruth Benfield, right

Let’s go back…way back, to 1977. The first Star Wars film was released and a gallon of gas cost 65 cents.

That was the year Ed Marcuse, MD, MPH, a young physician who came to Seattle Children’s in 1973, joined the search committee to find a new nursing director for outpatient clinics. Marcuse and the team hired someone with pediatric expertise, leadership potential and passion for Seattle Children’s mission: Ruth Benfield.

Now 37 years later, Benfield, who had become the vice president of Psycho-Social Services, retired on Feb. 3 and Marcuse, medical director for Quality Improvement, will retire one month later.

With their combined 78 years of service, Benfield and Marcuse have left a lasting impression at Seattle Children’s.

But rather than make their retirements a celebration of their careers, they’ve decided to use the occasion to garner support for something they both hold near and dear to their hearts – the Journey Program, a program that helps families cope after losing a child.

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Community shows Seahawks pride and supports Seattle Children’s

It’s Seahawks mania all around the city of Seattle and for good reason – they are going to the big game this Sunday! The Seahawks have long been friends of Seattle Children’s Hospital, visiting our patients annually around the holidays during their Captain’s Blitz. This year, our incredible relationship with quarterback Russell Wilson has also helped to grow our relationship with the Hawks and allowed for Seattle Children’s to benefit from many initiatives around the city due to the success of the team.

Here’s a quick recap of what’s happening this week in support of Seattle Children’s, and how the hospital and our community is showing Hawks pride.
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Seahawks-49ers rivalry leads to something greater

UPDATE: The competition continues

Seahawks fever is still in the air!  As of Jan. 24, Seahawks fans have raised more than $257,000 for UCSF Benioff. And 49ers fans have raised more than $157,000 for Seattle Children’s. Thank you 49ers fans and Seattle’s 12th man for supporting our patients and families. With the support of the community, everyone wins. 

See the events leading up to this competitive, philanthropic milestone below:

  • In December, an anonymous Bay Area donor offered two matches of $100,000 toward both fundraising challenges.
  • On Jan. 14, the San Francisco 49ers organization pledged to match up to $100,000 to benefit both hospitals.
  • At 4 p.m. on Jan. 14, the Seattle Seahawks pledged to match up to $112,000 to benefit both hospitals.

What began as a rivalry and a billboard has led to something much bigger and more meaningful to Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers fans. The two groups have been ‘competing’ to see who can raise the most money for Seattle Children’s Hospital and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco. So far, their efforts have resulted in pledges totaling more than $100,000.

“It’s really incredible,” said Seahawks fan Christopher Hart, who spearheaded the effort to raise money for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco. “It feels good.”

It all started when a group of 49ers fans, led by project manager Aasheesh Shravah, raised enough money to purchase a tongue-in-cheek billboard in the Seattle area. The group needed $7,000 for the billboard; any extra donations they pledged to a Seattle-based charity. 49ers fans overwhelmingly chose Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation as their charity of choice.

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Santa visits Children’s to spread Christmas cheer

SantaVisit2013 014Being sick is never fun for a child, and spending time in a hospital can be especially difficult for families during the holidays. Children sometimes wonder if Santa will be able to find them come Christmas day. But at Seattle Children’s, there’s no need to worry. Every year, Santa makes a very special visit to Children’s – it’s one of his favorites stops along his Christmas route!

With Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen and Rudolph all safely parked atop the roof, Santa spreads Christmas cheer for all to hear, his jolly laugh echoing through the halls of Children’s. And thanks to Santa’s trusty elves, every child receives a present chosen just for them. It’s just one of the many ways Children’s helps families feel more at home for the holidays and cope with being in the hospital on Christmas. Read full post »

Patients at Children’s pick perfect presents in the playroom

BreannaClose_webOnce a year, the patient playroom at Seattle Children’s transforms. Usually it’s a place for patients to have fun and play with toys and games. But last Thursday, volunteers and Child Life staff members turned the room into every kid’s fantasy – a toy store where absolutely everything is free.

Every holiday season, Children’s partners with the Starlight Children’s Foundation to host this holiday shopping party for patients.

It’s just one of the many ways Children’s helps kids and their families cope with being at the hospital during the holidays. Read full post »

Sophie gets a new heart and perspective on life after 40 days and 40 nights

SophieSCHThe holiday season is a time where family and friends come together and often reflect on what they are most thankful for. It’s a time of celebration and joy, and for some, it’s also a time to give back.

For 17-year-old Sophie Kuniholm, this time of the year is a combination of all those things. She’s thankful for her health, the support of her family and the ability to give back to others. But most importantly, she’s thankful for her heart, both literally and metaphorically. Read full post »

Travis Pays it Forward

Travis, Turner and Tynan Patterson (from left to right) packed the car for last year’s toy drive for Children’s.

Travis, Turner and Tynan Patterson (from left to right) packed the car for last year’s toy drive for Children’s.

This month, Travis Patterson and his 16-year-old son, Turner, are spearheading their seventh annual holiday toy drive for patients at Seattle Children’s.

It’s just one way the Pattersons give back to the place that saved Turner’s life and changed Travis’s forever.

Nearly 11 years after Travis first walked through Children’s doors, holding tight to a very sick Turner, he is a grateful parent, a dedicated volunteer and – since earlier this year – an engaged employee.  In February, the journeyman electrician joined the Plant Operations team.

And he’s not the only family member working at Children’s. His older son (and Turner’s big brother), Tynan Patterson, works in the Nutrition Department.

When Travis makes his hospital rounds to work on the emergency generator or fulfill Fix-It requests, Travis brings the tools of his trade and something else – a type of compassion that can only come from been-there, done-that experience.

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49er Faithful Donate to Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation

There’s at least one thing that Seattle Seahawks fans and San Francisco 49ers fans can agree on…sick kids need help from anywhere they can get it. So when the 49er Faithful group pledged extra dollars from their recent fundraising effort to Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation, we accepted. We might question their choice in football teams, but we would never question their integrity.

Go Hawks!


Richard Sherman surprises kids at Children’s with a special visit

Sherman&FamilyLast night, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and his brother Branton Sherman surprised patients, families and staff at Seattle Children’s Hospital with a very special visit. Unable to attend “Blue Tuesday,” Sherman said he didn’t want to miss out on seeing the kids. He drove to the hospital right after practice with his brother in toe to pass out Seahawks pillow pets.

Just as patients, families and staff at Children’s thought they couldn’t get any louder and prouder to be a part of the 12th man, Sherman proved why Seattle is home to the best and most generous team in the NFL. Our 12th man flag is proudly waving at the entrance of the hospital for all to see. Go Hawks!


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