November 2018 Sibshop

On November 8, 2018, Children’s Village’s Sibshop was bustling with children ages six to twelve, who were all excited about the commencement of the holiday season.  Sibshops is an event for the brothers and sisters of the children with special needs who come through the Village’s doors.  During this event, the children are given a chance to talk with other sibs, sharing their feelings, and also have fun!


The children started out coloring and conversing with the mentors at their table.  Mentors are teenage graduates of Sibshops who come back as volunteers.  The mentors showed great interest in what the children were telling them, whether it be showing off their knowledge of the alphabet or feeling sad that their coloring page didn’t turn out the way they wanted it to.  The mentors would encourage the latter and help them fix their pages if asked.

During the activity, the children made wreaths with leaves on them, telling what the child was thankful for.  Many interesting and creative ones were shared; Experiences, memes, wi-fi, broccoli, and bubbles, to name a few.  Some children needed some help finishing their wreaths in time, so their mentors helped them.


After dinner, the staff held a meeting for the children to share about their siblings with special needs.  Many of the children shared about their siblings; when they did, they shared about their siblings’ needs, but they also shared about their siblings’ favorite foods, favorite television shows, and other facts about them not pertaining to their siblings needs.  One girl, when talking about her sister with Down syndrome, mostly shared about how funny and amazing her sister was.

This experience demonstrated not only the hearts of the staff but also the hearts of the siblings of children with special needs.  The staff showed enthusiasm and investment in the children’s feelings at the beginning of the Sibshop in talking with them as well as patience with the children during the activities in helping them with their wreaths.  For the children’s parts, they showed kindness and love in describing their siblings.  They acknowledged that though their siblings had special needs, they were still their siblings and still children who liked many of the same things that they did.

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Specially designed media cart donated!

A grateful thank you to Casey Jones of Docent Design LLC for donating a media cart for Virginia Mason Memorial’s Pediatric Unit.  This specially designed and manufactured media cart will be used in conjunction with the SimBaby manikin to provide valuable education and training for nursing, ancillary, and medical staff.

The media cart will enhance training by providing all the tools in one place for the pediatrics team to provide ongoing training for the medical team to enhance learning and relearning of best practices for best outcomes for pediatric patients.

Thank you Casey Jones and Docent Design for manufacturing and donating this innovative, state of art media cart!

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Where would we be without Children’s Village?

“We learned about Children’s Village when Shealyn was one month old.  She was diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome, a spectrum disorder involving many medical issues.

When we left the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, all of the Children’s Village’s services were set in place for us.  A dietitian helped with weight checks, nutrition, and calculated calories.  A speech and feeding therapist helped with the feeding difficulties.  We also had an occupational therapist to help with low muscle tone and reaching development milestones.

As things progressed we’ve had different challenges along the way.  Shealyn developed scoliosis and had to be in a brace for a little over a year.  When she turned 2, she started speech therapy and hippo therapy, which is horseback riding, to help strengthen her core muscles.  We did this for a little over a year and her spine has straightened out.  She is stronger and brace-free now.

I can’t imagine where we would be today without Children’s Village and its services.  With a new diagnosis and the grieving process that goes with that, there is no way that we could’ve managed to get everything set up and to obtain all the care that was needed.  Without their help, Shea may not be doing as well as she is right now.  Our family coordinator took care of everything and helped set up all of the services and specialists we needed.  We’re very fortunate to have a place like Children’s Village here in Yakima.

In our personal journey with PWS we have been very lucky; it is a spectrum and we have been on the higher functioning side so far.  We constantly push Shealyn and treat her no different than any other child. Even with all these things going on with Shealyn, everything is really good right now and we are on cruise control, in our new way of normal. We do have lots of hope.  Hope for a medication that will help with hunger.  Hope that someday she can attend college if she would like to.  Hope that someday she may be able to live independently and have a job.”

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Preparing for the future

Thanks to generous community support, Five Wishes Training is offered every first Wednesday of the month from noon to 1pm in the Virginia Mason Memorial auditorium.

You have an opportunity to give your loved ones a tremendous gift of peace of mind, so that during a health crisis they can focus on caring for you and not worrying about making the wrong decisions on your behalf.  Here are a few of the questions advance directives help you with:

  • Who would you want to make decisions for you when and if you are unable to?
  • What sort of medical treatment would you want…or not want?
  • How comfortable do you want to be? If there comes a time to decide whether you would want to be awake or would prefer to be comfortable-would your loved ones know which is important you?
  • How do you want people to treat you if you are unable to explain yourself to them?
  • What do you want your loved ones to know?

If you’d like more information, come to one of the monthly educational opportunities on advance care planning and how you can prepare yourself and/or your loved ones for the future.

For further information about Five Wishes, please contact Laurie Jackson at 575-8035 or

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A legacy of caring

Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.  Faye Martin, longtime supporter of The Memorial Foundation, passed away in June, surrounded by love. We were humbled and touched to learn she left a generous bequest to help sustain patient support programs at North Star Lodge.  Mrs. Martin’s gift will provide additional funding for years to come, assuring support for programs such as nutritional supplements, emergency assistance, pharmacy aid and, dietary counseling, and even snacks for infusion patients putting in long, hard days of treatment at North Star Lodge.

Mrs. Martin’s gift is greatly appreciated.  Her bequest leaves a legacy of caring that will help local cancer patients in their journey to wellness.

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Children’s Village 4th Annual Buddy Walk – October 13

Children’s Village 4th Annual Buddy Walk – October 13











An invitation from Melia…. Peach’s mom!

Come out to the Buddy Walk and support family, friends and loved ones with Down syndrome.  This is a great way to get our community together to celebrate differences!  People with Down syndrome have beautiful spirits, personalities and are full of love! They are really just like everyone else. Our community needs more unconditional love and that is exactly what people with Down syndrome (and other disabilities!) emanate.  Come to join in the fun!!!

~Melia is proud mom to Peach and Coral.  Peach is 3 years old and has Down syndrome.  She is a compassionate, warm little girl with lots of spunk, a dash of sass and a whole lot of energy!

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Pedaling for Parkinson’s

A First-hand Perspective, by Keith Fowler

As a person with Parkinson’s, I know first-hand when trying to exercise by myself that the problems are many, including fatigue, being alone, no competition, and many things that provide distractions.  I have heard people say, (and I am one), they bought a bike, elliptical or whatever exercise equipment and use it for a couple of weeks and then it becomes an expensive clothes hanger.

Through a partnership with the Yakima YMCA, Virginia Mason Memorial, and The Memorial Foundation, the first 12-week exercise program specifically for Parkinson’s patients began in late May at the YMCA.

With the Pedaling for Parkinson’s program, we are able to meet people with the same problems that we can talk to.  People are there to motivate us to do better, we get a sense of competition and gain a better mental outlook. The class is social in nature, which helps – the social aspect of getting together is important.  Besides all that…I feel better!

I see great potential through Pedaling for Parkinson’s and hope more people will participate and benefit, as I have.  It’s a progressive disease; there is no cure.  This program gives you a chance to make some progress.

Join us!  Program coordinators are looking for more participants for the next free 12-week series of Pedaling for Parkinson’s classes.  Sessions are at 9 am Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Yakima YMCA, 5 N Naches Ave.  Questions?  Call Roxann Johnson at the YMCA, 509-248-1202.

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Subaru Loves to Care!

Subaru Image

Through the Subaru Loves to Care initiative, Stewart Subaru of Yakima recently donated 60 blankets for the comfort and care of patients at North Star Lodge Cancer Care Center.  This Subaru program is a partnership with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to spread hope, love and warmth to those fighting cancer.

For the third year in a row, Stewart Subaru participated in this program donating 170 blankets to date for patients at North Star Lodge!

Thank you Stewart Subaru and the Subaru Loves to Care program!


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Cle Elum Artists on Display

A generous group of quilters in Cle Elum spends a lot of time sewing for Virginia Mason Memorial’s tiniest patients.  Quilts, receiving blankets, travel blankets, and other infant items are their special focus.  They have created scores of custom designs for our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric patients.  Now you have a chance to view their handiwork!

The Carpenter House Museum and Art Gallery at 302 W Third Street, Cle Elum, is presenting a very special showing of the group’s quilts, between June 30 – July 27.  Afterward, many of the quilts will be donated to The Memorial Foundation for Memorial’s pediatric and hospice patients.  The Carpenter House is open Friday through Sundays, Noon – 4:00 PM.  If you attend on July 8, some of the artists will be in attendance.  And, they’ll have cookies!

Take a scenic drive, enjoy the quilted art show, and stop in at the Cle Elum Dairy Queen for their Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® fundraising campaign benefitting, you guessed it…children’s health care programs and services at Virginia Mason Memorial, your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.


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Gesa Credit Union became The Memorial Foundation’s first Mission Partner by pledging $30,000 in support of its four initiatives

Gesa Credit Union became The Memorial Foundation’s first Mission Partner by pledging $30,000 in support of its four initiatives: Children’s Health, Healthy Yakima, Cancer Care, and Compass Care. The partnership was announced and celebrated at the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours hosted at Gesa Credit Union’s South First Street branch office.

“We are grateful for the support from Gesa Credit Union and excited about the investment they are making in the Yakima Valley,” said Erin Black, Chief Executive Officer at The Memorial Foundation. “Through our partnership, Gesa Credit Union is supporting the improvement of health care outcomes across the entire lifespan.”

The Memorial Foundation focuses on the areas of health care that most greatly affect the everyday lives of the people who call Central Washington their home. With the creation of the Mission Partnership, organizations are able to invest in improving and sustaining a healthier and more vital community. Through their support, Gesa Credit Union will have direct impact on areas of wellbeing across the entire lifespan, from birth through end-of-life care.

“Helping people is a part of the credit union philosophy and that help extends to organizations within our community. We want to build awareness of the incredible work being done by The Memorial Foundation,” said Don Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer at Gesa Credit Union. “Our partnership is a perfect example of how credit unions can work with local organizations to provide much needed support for programs in our community.”

Gesa Credit Union and The Memorial Foundation are excited to advance and transform health care across the Yakima Valley together.

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