Colton’s Journey

From a grateful parent, “Colton looks exactly like his Dad.  He has my toes…and also Down syndrome.  1 in 695 babies is born with Down syndrome; that is a .001% odds.  Well, we won the lottery!  When I was 5 months pregnant, we learned our new son would have Down syndrome and a significant congenital heart defect.  It was heartbreaking news. With the support of family and friends, and the Parent to Parent group at Children’s Village, we rallied and tried to get ready.

When Colton was born he surprised the medical team with his strength.  Our beautiful son spent the next 30 days at Seattle Children’s Hospital.  At 5 months, he had heart surgery, and finally got to come home to Yakima.

We became involved with Children’s Village Parent to Parent program before Colton was born and they matched us up with the mother of another child with Down syndrome.  We love the connection we have with the other parents. They have helped us through our darkest days and we are so grateful to have them in our lives.

Colton is now 1-1/2 years old and loves his sister and his dog with all his heart; and is mastering the typical 1-year old skills with eager determination.  Our family’s hardest challenge turned out to be the most rewarding thing that has ever happened to us!”

Your donations to The Memorial Foundation help support life-changing programs like Children’s Village Parent to Parent.

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New Food for Life class series

Discover which foods are optimal for weight management, learn about various health topics including blood pressure and digestion, and get empowered with the practical cooking skills needed to help you on your journey to better health. To sign up for future classes, call Lori Gibbons (509) 249-5317.

This curriculum is based on PCRM’s (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) successful 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program. In the classes, attendees will also enjoy a cooking demonstration and taste delicious, healthful dishes in a supportive group setting. Demonstrations include at least 3 different recipes and will give participants simple, easy-to-remember key concepts to improve their diet.

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New iPads help patients pass the time

Thanks to generous community donations, patients receiving chemotherapy at North Star Lodge are now offered a welcome distraction during their medication infusions. Many patients spend more than an hour receiving their treatment which requires them to remain in a chair.  Access to education, movies, and games on the new tablets helps patients relax and pass the time and improves their overall experience of care.

Other patient support services funded through The Memorial Foundation are mammogram scholarships, lymphedema therapy, oncology rehabilitation and exercise program, and nutritional guidance.

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A family’s journey

A Parent to Parent team member shares a family’s journey.

“Recently I had a visit from a family served many years ago through the Parent to Parent program at Children’s Village.  I was surprised and delighted to see them again.  I remembered back to when I used to do home visits with them in 2003.  Their little boy was 2 years old and had been diagnosed with a terminal illness.  The family needed support and resources.  I listened to Mom as she shared her concerns and fears, and did my best to offer comfort and compassion.  Mom also needed resources, such as financial assistance to pay for her child’s funeral.  I connected her to a local wish granting organization who agreed to cover some of the costs.  Sadly, her son passed away several weeks later.  This was such a heartbreaking experience but I was so thankful to have been there for them.

Years later I met the family again when they returned to Parent to Parent.  Their young daughter had been diagnosed with developmental delays and Mom wanted to be matched to another parent of a child with similar needs.  I facilitated the match and the parents became close friends.  She also participated in the Spanish language “Holland” group, where she connected with other parents raising children with special healthcare needs.

With the recent visit from this grateful mother, I learned about the impact Children’s Village had on her family.  She shared her appreciation for all the help and support they received for both of their children ‘and wanted to give back’ to Children’s Village.  She gave a financial gift to support the continued work of Children’s Village.  I am thankful for families like hers who benefit from our supportive services and want to give back in some way.”

Your donations to The Memorial Foundation help support important programs like Children’s Village Parent to Parent.

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Quit Smoking – There’s an app for that!

As part of the new tobacco cessation education program at Virginia Mason Memorial, the new QuitLine program has already received a positive response.

In-patients who currently use tobacco products receive a pamphlet with stop smoking tips and information about the QuitLine. Funded by The Memorial Foundation, the QuitLine program is a phone app made available to patients.  After receiving initial educational information, patients get a follow up visit from a respiratory therapist the following day and have the opportunity to go through the quit tips and receive encouragement to consider trying several of the tips.

For more information, visit

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Gratefulness for North Star Lodge

Your gifts to The Memorial Foundation for cancer care programs stay right here in Yakima, helping people like Christine James manage their fight against cancer.  Read further as Christine shares her experience.

“North Star Lodge has been my home away from home for the last year. Even though battling triple negative breast cancer was the toughest journey I’ve ever been on, I feel so grateful for all the staff at North Star Lodge. They have easily become my second family.  There is no stupid question, there is no stupid reaction to the chaos of feelings I felt when I was losing my control of this awful monster trying to invade my body. No matter what kind of day I was having, I had so many people offering me support.

I was very sick one Christmas and completely worn down from chemo treatments and an infection I had with a fever.  I had to go in 3 days before Christmas, and let’s face it having 5 months of infusions you’d like to keep your scheduled appointments and add no additional appointments because it feels like you’re always there. I broke down crying because I felt hopeless. While I was crying the infusion nurses all held me and gave me such a great inspirational pep talk. I needed to have blood drawn through my port and my arm at the same time. I was so frail and exhausted I asked for a nurse to hold my hand while I cried on her shoulder. What a loving group of people. I am so grateful for the expertise at North Star.”

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With gifts like yours, our community is serving those in their final illness through Virginia Mason Memorial’s incredible Compass Care team.  Read about a patient story as told by a hospice social worker:

“Recently, we worked with Charles. At first he and his wife didn’t want our help but soon were overwhelmed with the extent of his illness and the challenging symptoms which were far beyond their ability to control – they wanted relief – they needed help – and we responded. Their living quarters were so small, there wasn’t space for the necessary medical equipment and even providing the physical care Charles needed presented a myriad of problems – there just wasn’t room.

The hospice team made it work anyway – multiple visits, many late night chats, inventive problem solving, and throughout all of this – no judgment, no criticism – because this was Charles’s life, it was what he knew and he wanted to stay at home as long as possible.

After a few months, he fell and sustained serious fractures. Not surprising to his care team, Charles, upon release from the hospital, remained steadfast in his desire to stay in his own home, so the hospice team went back to the drawing board to figure out how to make this happen. The hospice team found ways to make it work.

In his final days, Charles thought it was best to move to Cottage in the Meadow. There, in the capable hands of the Cottage team, he was able to spend his final days peacefully and symptom free.”

Compass Care covers the spectrum of home care programs, from home health, to palliative care, to hospice and to bereavement for the surviving family members. The Compass Care team works with patients every day who frequently suffer from chronic and terminal illnesses.  The home care team develops individual care plans that will provide the best possible service to each patient.

Thank you for supporting these amazing programs, bringing compassionate, professional care to people on their own terms.

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Our promise to the community

Each year, our board of trustees identifies the most urgent funding needs and commits funding to our health care programs. We ensure every dollar is used to enhance healthcare here in the Yakima Valley.  2017 again brings a promise from us to you that we continue to diligently steward your gifts to fuel the best possible health outcomes.   This year our board has committed nearly $2.3 million to local health care programs.

Since 1990, The Memorial Foundation has responded to community health needs by funding vital health care initiatives.  We are driven by the voice and needs of our community and by the community’s generosity.  You are the community.  You are making Central Washington a better place to live, and you are providing better health outcomes for all of your friends and neighbors.

We are deeply grateful for your trust and for your support.

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