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 »
The McKinney family
A hospital can be a scary place, especially for a mother or father of a sick child. Worrying about the cost of care can add a whole new layer of fear. For many families—even if they have insurance—medical bills can be financially devastating. When the postman finally delivers the bill, opening the letter can often be daunting.
But for these families, a letter from Seattle Children’s didn’t bring financial ruin; it brought relief, hope and the good kind of tears. That’s because instead of a bill, the letter contained one simple message: Your hospitals bills are taken care of.
In fiscal year 2014, Seattle Children’s covered $120 million in uncompensated care for families in the region who had little or no resources to pay their medical bills. Uncompensated care, which is made possible in part by donations from the community, helps thousands of families stay afloat when they need it most. Read full post »
Every Tuesday and Friday, like clockwork, you’ll find volunteer Kien Luu at Seattle Children’s – either greeting visitors in the volunteer office with a warm, friendly smile, or making children laugh and play in the outpatient sibling playroom, helping them to forget for a moment where they are. But what many may not know is that Luu has a special connection to not only the hospital, but also the patients and families because he used to be a patient himself.
It’s from that experience that he chooses to give back to the place that he is most thankful for; for the place that saved his life thirty two years ago.
“My life is a blessing,” Luu, 38, said as he reflected on his time at Seattle Children’s. Read full post »
Makenna with the 33 wagons she collected last year.
Makenna Schwab is at it again. She’s a 12-year-old on a philanthropic mission to raise more than $10,000 for Seattle Children’s, a place she says saved her life.
Makenna, who donated 33 red Radio Flyer wagons to the hospital last December, has two new goals this year: raise money for a low radiation X-ray machine for kids at the hospital, and fund a years worth of “MakPaks” for inpatient families. MakPaks provide a bag of groceries to parents and caregivers who don’t want to leave their child’s bedside or can’t afford food during extended hospital stays. Read full post »
Patients and families celebrated Halloween a little early this year thanks to Spirit of Children, the charitable arm of Spirit Halloween. Spirit of Children hosted a Halloween party for patients and families complete with costumes of all shapes and sizes, a visit from Donnie and Leo from Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a plethora of Halloween decorations for the kids to enjoy.
For some patients, this party was a welcomed bright spot in their hospital stay. For others, this day marked a milestone that will never be forgotten.
Celebrating Halloween from the hospital
Ciaran Grandi, 7, thought he’d have to miss out on Halloween this year. He’s been away from his home in Eastern Washington for almost a year receiving treatment for acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).
When Anna Foley, Ciaran’s mother, heard about the party she hoped her son would get a chance to join in the festivities. She crossed her fingers and had a quick chat with their nurse. They were given the green light. Read full post »