A group of seventh-grade girls formed the Island Friends Junior Guild.
In March 2015, a group of seventh-grade girls from Mercer Island came up with the idea of starting a guild to support Seattle Children’s, the Island Friends Junior Guild. They banded together and picked a cause they rarely hear their peers talk about, but believe could use a little more support: mental health.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, members of the Island Friends Junior Guild are sharing their story to help inspire others to end the stigma around mental health and raise awareness for Seattle Children’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit (PBMU).
“The PBMU doesn’t get much attention,” said Tara Manhas, an Island Friends Junior Guild member. “Mental health isn’t really seen as a positive thing. There’s a negative stigma around it. We want to change that.”
Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association is the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the nation. In total, there are 450 different guilds that raise money for the hospital, and out of all 450 guilds, one exclusively supports the PBMU. Read full post »
Posey-Grager signs a children’s book for a young patient.
The halls of Seattle Children’s Hospital are a familiar place to Joell Posey-Grager, Miss Seattle 2016, and her family. Now 24, before she was wearing crowns and singing to audiences, she was a patient at Seattle Children’s.
Recently, she returned to the hospital not as a patient, but as a visitor to help brighten the day for other patients like her. With a little help from two very special guests, RJ Mitte, from the popular television show “Breaking Bad”, and Romi Dames, from Disney’s “Hannah Montana,” that’s exactly what they did.
Posey-Grager has always wanted to give back to the hospital that saved her life. Like the patients she visited in the inpatient playroom at Seattle Children’s, she understands the challenges of being in the hospital as a child so what better way to spread cheer than with a glittering crown and a story of hope. Read full post »
Juliana Graceffo, 11, has type 1 diabetes. She must test her blood sugar throughout the day and take carefully calculated doses of insulin.
Children with type 1 diabetes and their families have to do several calculations throughout the day to stay healthy. Did my daughter check her blood sugar before breakfast? Does she need an extra snack because she has gym class? Is there someone at school to help my child check her blood sugar?
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that injures the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and leads to a lifelong requirement of daily insulin injections. It is a considerable burden of care on patients and parents, who effectively never get a rest from the demands of staying healthy and safe.
According to the American Diabetes Association, about 1.25 million Americans have type 1 diabetes. A new $1 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust will get doctors and scientists at Seattle Children’s Research Institute one step closer to better treatment for type 1 diabetes by studying the use of immunotherapy to treat the condition. The work is in collaboration with researchers at Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI). Read full post »
A group of Kappa Delta (KD) sorority sisters from the University of Washington (UW) and an elderly knitting group at a retirement home in Seattle might seem like an unexpected duo but together they’re perfectly aligned in their missions. Every year, these two very different groups do their part to help support ending child abuse, a reality that unfortunately affects millions of children each year.
Raising money for newborns
Inside the KD sorority house on UW’s campus, a group is gathered together chatting. The topic isn’t what someone might expect to overhear from a group of 18-year-old young women. Instead of talking about relationships and homework, they’re hard at work planning the sorority’s 20th annual auction to support Seattle Children’s Protection, Advocacy & Outreach Program and Prevent Child Abuse America.
Since partnering with Seattle Children’s in 2009, the KD sorority has raised more than $300,000 for the program, which helps parents of newborns in Washington learn about infant crying and recommended coping skills before they leave the hospital through a video-based training program called “Period of PURPLE Crying.” Read full post »
Milestones deserve a celebration. At least that’s what Seattle Children’s Pediatric Advanced Care Team thought when 9-year-old Gabby Krueger, a longtime patient at Seattle Children’s, received some good news the week before Christmas. After 14 weeks in the hospital, doctors gave the family the green light to go home.
“We’ve been here a really long time,” said Kim Sistek, Gabby’s mother. “We were really excited to go home.”
The news came after Gabby showed improvement in motility. For three years, Gabby has needed assistance going to the bathroom. She’s needed to use enemas to pass stool on her own. Her parents were beginning to have conversations with doctors about what Gabby’s life would look like if she lost motility. Her outcome was looking bleak. But just a couple weeks ago, Gabby made an improvement. Read full post »
Tonya Ward poses with hundreds of toys donated by children at Cedarhurst Elementary.
Sometimes the littlest of hearts can be the most generous. Children at The Bear Creek School and Cedarhurst Elementary School are proving just that. They are helping make the holiday a little brighter, and warmer for kids at Seattle Children’s this holiday.
Spreading holiday cheer
Spending the holidays away from home and in a hospital bed can be a difficult reality for some children. They may wonder what the holidays will bring, or if Santa will be able to find them. For children who are ill, a toy or a comfort item, like a blanket, can mean the world.
“I couldn’t imagine having to spend Christmas in the hospital,” said Tonya Ward, a teacher’s aid at Cedarhurst Elementary. “It’s an incredible feeling to know we’re making a difference in a child’s life.” Read full post »
Families at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) received a special delivery this week thanks to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Amazon. Two larger-than-life gift boxes filled with toys, Amazon devices and gift cards brightened the day for kids at the hospital and OBCC, a community clinic located in Seattle’s Central District which provides medical, dental, mental health and nutrition services to families, regardless of their ability to pay.
Partnering with Russell Wilson
Tuesdays are usually an exciting day at Seattle Children’s because of Russell Wilson’s weekly visits to the hospital, but this Tuesday’s visit was extra merry. Christmas came early for patients and families at Seattle Children’s. And Wilson invited a special guest to help spread even more holiday cheer, Ciara.
Wilson’s, Why Not You Foundation and Amazon partnered together to donate Amazon devices, like the Fire HD and Kindle Paperwhite, to every patient at the hospital. Wide eyes and big smiles filled the hospital today and made today’s blue Tuesday one of the brightest and most festive of the year. Read full post »
The Clifton family poses with Seahawks players in the playroom at Seattle Children’s.
Yesterday, patients and families at Seattle Children’s, home to some of the loudest, proudest and smallest 12s, received a special visit from Seattle Seahawks players and members of the Sea Gals as part of the team’s annual visit, Captain’s Blitz. It made Blue Tuesday, the brightest and bluest day of the week at the hospital, even more spirited than usual as patients and families got to meet and greet with their favorite football players.
A warm welcome
Olivia Clifton, 6 months old, was nothing but smiles as she posed with her mom and dad and a group of Seahawks players in the inpatient playroom at Seattle Children’s.
Although she’s too young to know who the players are, she’ll have photos that will last her family a lifetime. Read full post »
Darth Vader introduces himself to patient Noah Mulllin.
Patients and families at Seattle Children’s didn’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to follow in the footsteps of Luke Skywalker, famed Jedi Master from Star Wars. Jedi masters made a special trip to the hospital today to help patients and their families harness their inner Force through a private training session.
And that’s not all. Several Star Wars characters from the Light and the Dark side also made a surprise appearance at the hospital. Patients, families and staff were buzzing over the sight of Darth Vader and R2-D2 walking the halls of the hospital.
The Force was definitely awakened as children smiled ear-to-ear as they too became Jedi Masters, each one empowered to overcome whatever lies ahead of them.
Read full post »
Bill Meyer poses with his wife Lynn after receiving the Champion for Children’s Award.
In recognition of #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back, Bill Meyer, an attorney based in Port Townsend whose practice focuses on estate planning, trusts and estate administration, talks about his passion for helping match people with a cause that’s meaningful to them. Meyer has helped individuals in the community plan gifts worth millions of dollars to local charities, including Seattle Children’s. This year, Meyer was awarded the Champion for Children’s Award from Seattle Children’s, an award which recognizes one professional advisor who has done an extraordinary job in helping Seattle Children’s as a volunteer, outreach partner and advocate of philanthropic planning.
When Meyer meets with clients to talk about documents like a Last Will and Testament, one might think the conversation could be rather sobering. But for Meyer, he looks at the conversation in a different light. He sits down with his clients outside of his stark white office walls (usually in their homes) and takes the time to learn about their life, their passions and the legacy they want to leave behind. All of his conversations have one thing in common, a question he loves to ask: “Do you have a charity or cause you wish to support in your plan?” Read full post »