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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Manny was born at only 26 weeks, weighing in at a tiny 2 lbs. 5 oz.

Manny enjoyed his birthday and actually ate some of his birthday cake! This was a big accomplishment for Manny and cause for celebration for him and his family. Thanks to the occupational therapy services he has received at Children’s Village, Manny has experienced success this past year.

Manny was born at only 26 weeks, weighing in at a tiny 2 lbs. 5 oz. As a newborn, he received early intervention services at Children’s Village to help his developmental delays. But then when he was six months old he had a serious lung issue and was rushed to the hospital with trouble swallowing and respiratory failure. He survived this health crisis but needed a g-tube inserted into his stomach so that he could take in nutrition. Since that time, Manny has been coming to Children’s Village to work with an occupational therapist to gain interest in eating solid food. Manny thinks he is just coming to the Village to play, but actually he is gaining food acceptance and learning vital eating skills.

When he first started the therapy, he could not tolerate food textures and really had trouble transitioning from the feeding tube to eating by mouth. With his therapist, he works on sensory therapy and acceptance of different food textures.

A real milestone was the day Manny went to his mom and said, “tummy hungry,” and asked for food! He is touching different textures and has more acceptance of food. His therapist has also helped his parents make changes and adjustments at home to help Manny to eat.

Today, we are happy to report that Manny is eating and doing great. And, he sure enjoyed his birthday cake!

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Lifestyle changes that make an impact

During 2017, scores of Yakima physicians referred patients to Virginia Mason Memorial’s Diabetes Prevention program, and 398 of you enrolled.  Generous gifts to The Memorial Foundation and grant funding help support this life-changing program.

Developed by the Centers for Disease Control, the goal is for those at risk to learn a lifestyle of healthier choices to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.  Fifty percent of participants achieved a 5-7 percent weight loss during the first 16 weeks, adding up to a combined weight loss of 4,224 pounds.

The Diabetes Prevention Program is subsidized wholly through community donations to The Memorial Foundation and grants received.  Thank you for doing your part to make Yakima a healthier place to live!

For information about the class, visit yakimamemorial.org/diabetes

You do not need a physician’s referral to take the class. “All you need to do is give this program a try!”

“When a friend mentioned this lifestyle change program to me, it piqued my interest. I had wanted to change my eating and exercise habits for some time, and I jumped at the opportunity to get started. I enjoy hearing different ideas and perspectives from others in the program and am motivated by the enthusiasm I see each week. Now, I am working on a daily routine that involves healthy eating and exercising.” ––a program participant

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Grieving?  Where to turn

Your gifts to The Memorial Foundation provide funding for bereavement support to assist people after the loss of a loved one.  During this difficult time, coping with day-to-day life can sometimes be a struggle – Compass Care is there to help.

“The Memorial Hospice team brought such compassion, care and comfort, not just for the patients, but for my whole family.  They understood my overwhelming grief as I walked the last journey with my brother.”  —a grateful family member

Each person grieves differently.  After the loss of a loved one, people may feel guilt, loneliness, regret, numbness, anger, denial, shock, relief, peace…or any combination of these.

Because of your donations, bereavement services are increasing dramatically for our community. Support groups are offered throughout the Valley, as well as innovative programming for those who have suffered a loss, including Compass Care’s Grief Recovery Workshops and the annual Kids Grief Workshop program.  Visit yakimamemorial.org/events for more information.

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Nothing can prepare you for the word “Cancer”.

A breast cancer survivor shares her gratefulness. Your donations help support vital services at both North Star Lodge Cancer Care Center and ‘Ohana Mammography Center that help many patients like Heather.

“After a mammogram and ultrasound at ‘Ohana, I was evaluated by a surgeon who ordered a biopsy.  Waiting on results from the biopsy was one of the scariest times in my life.

I don’t think anything can prepare you for the word “Cancer”.  The diagnosis was ductal carcinoma in situ.  At this point I couldn’t seem to hear anything else that was said.  I felt like both feet were knocked out from under me.  Having to process it myself and then trying to let my children and family know was one of the hardest things to do.

After discussion with my doctors, we planned a full mastectomy, followed by 6 straight weeks of radiation at North Star Lodge and then reconstruction.  After healing from several related surgeries, I was ready for my final surgery. It has been a long recovery. Going through this I was always thankful for the care I received. Thank you for all the care you gave me.

During this time, I shared a bond with some women I will never forget—other patients at North Star. I now have the burning desire to serve and volunteer at North Star Lodge and help in any way I can to continue giving love and guidance to those in need. My fuel in life that keeps me going is to love others where they are. The more that I give of my time and love for others, the gift is no greater than what I get back.”

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Mr. West Valley 2018 Miracle Child

Shealyn was diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome at about 1 month old and that’s how we came to learn about Children’s Village.

One of the most common causes of genetic life-threatening childhood obesity, PWS occurs when there is an error on chromosome 15.  There are two main stages of PWS: the first stage being hypotonia, poor feeding in infancy, failure to thrive, and delayed motor development due to low muscle tone.  The second is hyperphagia, which is an uncontrollable drive to eat with intense food-seeking behaviors and a constant feeling of starvation, even after eating a large meal.  Their metabolism is slower and they have to consume fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight.

Other effects of PWS can be short stature if they’re not treated with growth hormone; learning difficulties, and low IQ.  They are usually very sweet and loving people, and many other medical issues can occur.  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 Shea and treat her no different than any other child.

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 helping reach developmental milestones.

As things progressed we’ve had different challenges along the way.  As Shea learned to bottle feed and started gaining weight, we no longer needed the dietitian or speech and feeding therapist. We did continue utilizing the occupational therapist, due to her low muscle tone.  Shea developed scoliosis around 18 months of age, which is quite common in PWS children, and had to be in a brace for a little over a year.  When she turned 2 years old we started speech therapy, and we chose to have this in combination with hippotherapy, which is horseback riding.  Because of her scoliosis, horseback riding therapy would help strengthen her core muscles.  We did this for a little over a year and her spine has straightened out.  She’s gotten stronger and has been brace-free for a little over a year now.

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.

I really can’t imagine where we would be today without the help of 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.  It was a very organized process.  With the help of our family coordinator, they 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.

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Unitus Community and Solarity Credit Unions support CU4Kids!

Thank you to Unitus Community Credit Union and Solarity Credit Union for supporting babies and kids treated at Children’s Village and Virginia Mason Memorial, your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Solarity Credit Union has continued its support of pediatric patients treated at our hospital through their sponsorship of the Red Flyer Wagon at the Northwest Credit Union Association’s annual auction benefiting CU4Kids. During last year’s auction, Unitus Community Credit Union placed the highest bid for the wagon at $10,000. We are so grateful for the support from these generous organizations; thank you for making miracles possible for kids across Central Washington!

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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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Join #GivingTuesday   

On Tuesday, November 28, The Memorial Foundation will be joining with others from around the world to celebrate #GivingTuesday. This is a global initiative dedicated to the celebration of generosity in the spirit of giving back.

Are you interested in joining as well? It’s easy!  Just find a way for your family, friends, business, or community to come together to support a cause that ignites your passion. Then, spread the word about what you have chosen to support. It could be through social media, e-mail, a blog, or an old-fashioned telephone call.

It is a perfect opportunity to begin or renew your support and affirm your belief in a healthy community. Make a gift towards helping to advance cancer care, children’s healthcare, home health or hospice services, or health education programs.

After making your gift, inspire others to “get out the give” by sharing your experience with #GivingTuesdayHealthyYakima on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media page!

Visit our #GivingTuesday page!

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