What happens when credit unions donate money and time to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? They put smiles on faces like these.
Northwest credit unions started the Credit Unions for Kids program in 1986. Now credit unions’ national charity of choice, it has raised more than $110 million for the 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including $12 million in the Northwest alone for sick children and the people who are working to make them well at the region’s six network hospitals.
Hospital: Seattle Children’s Hospital
Location: Seattle, WA
Diagnosis: Infantile Esotropia
Calvin’s story began on Nov.19, 2007 when he was born almost 7 weeks early. In the NICU he was put on a ventilator and his lung collapsed at three days old requiring a chest tube. He was born with a VSD hole in his heart, was diagnosed with severe reflux and at three months old he was diagnosed with Infantile Esotropia. He was fitted for glasses and had his first eye surgery at 6 months old. We also noticed he was missing his developmental milestones so he started occupational, feeding, vision, and speech therapy.
When Cal turned a year his health started to fail and we found ourselves admitted to Children’s over and over again for IV fluids and nutrition.
In November, 2009 we learned Cal had severe sleep apnea and he had his tonsil/adenoids removed. Waking from surgery proved to be difficult and it resulted in a nearly three week long hospital stay as he became catatonic and eating/drinking proved to require too much energy.
He was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease on July 21, 2010. He had a G-feeding tube placed which allows us to give his body the nutrition he desperately needs but it also allows us to push his “Vitamin Cocktail” and other medications. Calvin has an ER Protocol that mandates he is hospitalized any time he is ill so we continue to have hospital admissions every year. Since his birth we have come to depend on Seattle Children’s Hospital for clinic appointments, tests, procedures, labs, surgeries, hospital stays and the world renowned specialists, nurses, and doctors who continue to treat not only Calvin, but our family. While our journey has been scary, we have never been alone.
Seattle Children’s continues to give us HOPE while Calvin receives the CARE he need until a CURE can be found.
Hospital: Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital
Location: Spokane, WA
“Everything is going to be all right” are the words Masin used to assure his family when he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a condition that causes the heart to enlarge and prevents it from pumping well. Masin was playing football with friends when he began to feel dizzy. It’s the last thing he remembers before a school nurse administered CPR on him and he was whisked away in an ambulance.
After medication failed to stabilize Masin’s heart, doctors determined that he needed a heart transplant. Three months later, Masin’s new heart was in place and, to his family’s relief, working fine. Masin was the first pediatric patient to receive a heart transplant in Spokane.
Today, Masin is able to enjoy his favorite activities, such as dirt-bike riding, snowboarding and basketball. He also continues to play video games, which helped him cope during his 98-day stay at Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. And despite being a tough teen-ager, Masin has a soft spot in his heart for other sick and injured children.
“To have a child like Masin, who comes in with such dire straits, with things in his life falling apart, losing the types of things he loves to do – it’s a miracle to give a child back the hopes and dreams that every child deserves,” said Masin’s pediatric cardiologist, Carl P. Garabedian, M.D.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospital funds have benefited the pediatric cardiology department at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in many ways. In Masin’s case, the funds helped purchase highly specialized equipment for the surgical suites. Children’s Miracle Network also helps fund the Child Life department at the hospital, which helped Masin and his family tremendously during his 98-day stay.
Hospital: Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital
Location: Yakima, WA
Diagnosis: Skeletal Dysplasia
“Dear Family and Friends,
It is with great sadness that I send you this update on Baby Samuel. We have been seeing a perinatologist at the University of Washington in Seattle related to concern over the small size of our baby. We were given horrible news that our precious son is not expected to live. There is a good chance he may pass away before he is born or shortly after birth. He has a lethal form of skeletal dysplasia, which causes his bones not to grow as they should. His chest circumference is too small to house fully mature lungs, therefore making breathing impossible.”
Nicole and Jeff Wilkinson wrote this letter to their family and friends, expecting the worst. They were already mourning the loss of their unborn child and even had a funeral planned.
No one was expecting what happened in the delivery room at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital: a miracle. Sam was crying, a signal that meant that he child could breathe. Sam was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and provided with all of the services and support that he needed.
Samuel is now a happy and healthy child. He is still small for his age, but all of the tests that he has had done since his birth have come back normal. The Wilkinson family comes to Children’s Village at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital weekly for Samuel to receive speech therapy due to some developmental delays.
Nicole and Jeff may have believed in miracles before, but now they know: They really do exist.
Hospital: PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center
Location: Eugene, OR
On Jan. 23, 2013, Daniel Galindo was born. He was perfect.
In August, just seven months later, Daniel’s parents noticed a small lump on the left side of his neck. It wasn’t too worrisome, but they made an appointment with their doctor just to be on the safe side.
An MRI was ordered. Hopefully, this would give doctors a more revealing look at what was going on with baby Daniel. Nick, Daniel’s father, described the MRI as “a really hard moment — watching your child being put under, at only nine months old, is a scary thing.”
Doctors could not determine what exactly was going on with the mass in sweet Daniel’s neck. The Galindo family continued to worry and wait.
In October, after a series of doctor appointments, the family was given two options: have surgery to remove the growing lump, or continue with a shot treatment to hopefully shrink the lump down to a smaller size.
The Galindos felt that with the continued growth of the lump, they had no other option than to remove it. The lump had already grown from 3cm to 8cm and was creating a lot of stress and worry for everyone.
Daniel’s grandmother was tireless in her efforts to get Daniel well again. She was told about an amazing pediatric surgeon, Dr. Garrett Zallen.
The family met with Zallen in late November and were overwhelmed by the treatment they received. Not only was Zallen kind, but he explained everything that was going on with their son in great detail — helping the family to cope with what was happening to Daniel.
Zallen brought great relief to the Galindo family, as they felt confident in his expertise and ability to care for their precious Daniel. Finally, Daniel was in good hands.
On Dec. 17, 2013, Daniel underwent surgery at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center RiverBend in Springfield, where Zallen removed the baseball-size mass in 11 month-old Daniel’s neck. Nick, Daniel’s dad, said “It was the greatest Christmas gift we could have ever received!”
Daniel is thriving and back to his normal daily life with a wonderful prognosis! The Galindo family continues to reflect on their time spent at Sacred Heart Medical Center RiverBend. They are incredibly grateful that they were able to stay in the Eugene/Springfield community where they live and work and, more importantly, where their support system is. They are proud to be able to give their son the care and healthy start he, and all children, deserve.
Hospital: Doernbecher Children’s Hospital
Location: Portland, OR
Diagnosis: Dandy-Walker Syndrome and Liddle’s Syndrome
Bacon Boy. That’s the nickname Tony has earned from his caregivers at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Bacon is Tony’s recovery snack of choice after an operation and he’s eaten a lot of it—he’s had 50 surgeries since he was born.
Tony was born with Dandy-Walker syndrome and Liddle’s syndrome, both of which are extremely rare. Dandy-Walker syndrome is a congenital brain malformation that causes intracranial pressure. Liddle’s syndrome involves abnormal kidney function when too much sodium is reabsorbed and too much potassium is lost.
Despite 50 surgeries and countless hospital visits, you’ll never catch Tony feeling sorry for himself. He’s a wonderful example for kids with lifelong illnesses and faces each new challenge with positivity and determination.
Tony also has some unique passions. He’s a huge “I Love Lucy” fan and owns almost all the seasons on DVD. He’s also designed a pair of bright crimson red Nike shoes, with a sparkly gold swoosh, the proceeds of which benefit Tony’s hospital.
CMN Hospitals Funds in Action
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals funds go to the area of greatest need which help recruit the best specialists and faculty, purchase equipment and cover the cost of care for underinsured families in all areas of the hospital.
Hospital: Doernbecher Children’s Hospital
Location: Portland, OR
Diagnosis: Brain Tumor
Liam Jaussi was just a typical 5-year-old kid who rode his bike and played outside, but that all changed in May 2010. He started waking up at two in the morning for no reason. He had no appetite. When his parents noticed that the left side of Liam’s face was drooping, they knew something was wrong. A scan revealed a large mass on the right side of his brain.
They immediately took him to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital where, over the next five days, surgeons performed two surgeries totaling over 17 hours to remove the tumor. Within weeks he was back to full strength, riding his bike, and still the Liam his parents know and love. After that, this brave little boy underwent 33 treatments of radiation without sedation.
Now, Doernbecher has a whole new meaning to the Jaussis. Liam is living proof of the good that Doernbecher does. The Jaussi family walked out of the hospital with the same hopes and dreams that they had going in. Liam’s battle continues, but so does his courage and compassion.
When Liam’s parents told him that people were donating money at the Heart of Doernbecher Auction to help children at “his hospital,” he ran to his bedroom and returned with his piggy bank. He said “I’m six years old, and I want to give six dollars.” At the November event, amid donations of thousands of dollars, Liam brought his own contribution from his piggy bank.
Hospital: Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center
Location: Medford, OR
In August 2008, 11-year-old Chloe was playing with her dog, but the dog wouldn’t stop nuzzling Chloe’s ear. She had discovered a lump between Chloe’s ear and skull. When the lump would not go away, Chloe was taken to a local pediatrician, tests were run, and it was discovered she had a tumor.
Her doctor sent Chloe to Portland, where she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in the soft tissues, Rhabdomayosarcoma. Chloe had surgery to remove tumors, and then underwent six months of chemotherapy.
Today, she is celebrating five years of being cancer-free.
“I was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer. After many surgeries and six months of chemotherapy, it made me want to reach out to other children experiencing the same things,” Chloe says. “Through personal experience, it made me realize that I could help someone else not be afraid of treatment or of an illness.”
Chloe is one of the brightest volunteers for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ program at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. She takes treats and toys to the pediatric patients in the hospital, and she often stays with patient if they want. Chloe says her presence helps “them not be afraid or to make time go faster. I have a passion for being a volunteer.”
Recently, she helped Rogue Credit Union and Pacific Crest Federal Credit Union deliver a Credit Union for Kids wagon full of toys to the pediatric department at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, along with a big check to help the hospital’s staff heal more children like her.
Hospital: Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphatic Leukemia
To the world he may be Batkid. To us he is Miles.
When Miles was ten months old he fell off of a stool. His parents took him to the doctor because they thought he had broken his clavicle.
The good news–there were no broken bones.
There was a lump under his ear, which the doctor treated with an antibiotic.
When the lump did not seem to be getting smaller it was decided to run a series of tests to see if there was more than an infection. When the results came back the family was told Miles was diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia.
After initial treatments at OHSU Miles was referred to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. In May 2010 Miles began his treatments and labs at Asante Rogue Regional.
Treatments can take 3-4 hours.
In June 2013 he finished his three-year chemotherapy protocol.
The family feels that the staff at Asante Rogue Regional “knows” Miles—Not just his diagnosis and treatment but who Miles is, what his personality is, and who they are as a family.