“Kits” Give A Note Of Love

Thanks to the outreach program at Together Church, North Star Lodge received 2,000 “cancer care kits” for patients. Each church member put together at least 1 kit with the message “You are loved” in each one. The kits contain tissues, lotion, and lip balm. We are very grateful!

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A Story To Share

My name is Gloria Ponce and I want to share my story with you! Having diabetes for 19 years, I am well aware of its devastating health impacts. Since my diagnosis, I had been scared of the possibilities of losing a limb, becoming blind or needing dialysis treatment, among many other possible health risks. I was frustrated and scared. Then everything changed!

Last June, I met with a diabetic educator from Virginia Mason Memorial who suggested I try a plant-based diet.* I was very skeptical of a diet that would include fruits because they are so high in sugar and they are to be avoided by diabetics; but she told me it would be ok. My life changed dramatically!

Since incorporating more plant-based foods into my eating plan, my glucose readings went from an average of 314 to 107! My insulin intake has decreased dramatically and continues to decrease as I lose more weight. My energy level is incredibly high, and I feel great. I have not felt this amazing in a very long time.

I get emotional just thinking about how this newly-found control of my diabetes has given me renewed hope that I can do something to improve the quality of my life. I may even be able to enjoy my grandchildren (all 7 of them) and my great-grandchild a bit longer. Thank you for guiding me through this change!

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Veterans Helping Other Veterans

Virginia Mason Memorial is giving special care to veterans who are at the end of their lives with two programs designed to honor those in Compass Care. Matthew McCay, Virginia Mason Memorial chaplain and veterans advocate, says the hospital is one of only four hospice programs in the state to be a top level four We Honor Veterans program community partner. McCay, a U.S. Army officer and combat veteran, says those who work in the We Honor Veterans program are specially trained in care and in helping veterans gain valuable end-of-life benefits. The other program is called Vet to Vet. If you are a veteran, you can help others by getting involved in the Vet to Vet program … veterans helping other veterans go through the end of life by understanding what they’ve been through.

If you are a veteran and want to help, call (509) 575-8035.

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The Right Professional With The Right Expertise

“As a pediatric physical therapist, I knew my baby, Thomas, wasn’t keeping up with the expected developmental milestones. At 16 months old, we had his hearing tested. He has severe hearing loss in his “good ear,” and they were not able to turn the machine up loud enough to get a response in his other ear. Put simply, our sweet Thomas was deaf. We wanted to give him every opportunity to engage with the people and environment that he lives in. Tom is supported by a collaborative team that includes providers at Seattle Children’s and his “home team” at Children’s Village. He receives specialized education from a certified educator of the deaf with Children’s Village Early Intervention program to help him learn and communicate using sign language as well as supporting our whole family to engage with his new deaf identity. He also has specialized speech therapy working on his utilization of technology, (such as hearing aids, etc.) and speech. It has now been a year of receiving services, and Children’s Village has helped him get caught up so he can communicate in sign language at an age-appropriate level. He continues to learn and grow, and we couldn’t be more proud of him or more thankful for all of the awesome support we have.”
– Katie Buck, Thomas’s mom

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Diabetes Prevention Program gets CDC recognition

The Diabetes Prevention Program at Virginia Mason Memorial, with funding provided through The Memorial Foundation, has recently been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as meeting rigorous standards set by the CDC.  Virginia Mason Memorial’s program is the 12th out of 80 in the state of Washington to achieve this status. This is particularly important for those we serve in the Yakima Valley, where 1 in 3 residents is pre-diabetic, and 1 in 11 have diabetes.

Roger Yockey, and his wife, Marilyn, both 78, have both taken the class, and have shed about 168 pounds between them. Roger has successfully moved out of the prediabetes zone!

For Roger, having his wife as his partner in the program made all the difference. “It really helps if you have a partner. Marilyn and I tracked what we ate with a focus on calories and fat. That’s our guide. And in the group sessions, you’re talking to other people and they’re telling you what their experiences have been.”

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Pepsi and Wray’s partner for kids

For 9 years, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company and Wray’s Market Fresh IGA have partnered to support Children’s Village through an annual fundraising promotion.  Each summer, a portion of Pepsi products sold at Wray’s stores is donated to support the special health care needs of children served at Children’s Village.

Children’s Village serves 6,000 children with special health care needs each year.  This annual donation from Pepsi and Wray’s helps to provide specialized care for children at Children’s Village, with services including specialty clinics and physical, occupational, speech, and behavioral therapies.

Thank you Pepsi and Wray’s!


Photo identifier (left – right):  Mary Lynne Brewington, The Memorial Foundation; Carrie Schilperoot, Children’s Village, Chris Brown, President Wray’s Market Fresh IGA; Greg McDonald, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co, and Mike Trammell, General Manager, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co.

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20 years of Impact

You would never know Brittany has traveled so far on a journey to wellness. And, Children’s Village had a great impact on her journey.  Today, the vibrant young mom is busy raising her own daughter.  But over 20 years ago, Brittany was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor.  She suffered from hydrocephalus, or “water on the brain,” a side effect of the tumor.  Her mom, Gina, found hope in the form of resource coordinator, Iris Montgomery, through Memorial’s Child Health Services.  Iris coordinated Brittney’s first appointment at Seattle Children’s Hospital with the pediatric neurologist.  Iris also came to the Coats’ home before that appointment with a map and money for the trip.  That appointment proved pivotal for Brittany.  “I don’t know what a couple more months of not being diagnosed would have brought,” said her father, Tim.  “The pressure on Brittany’s brain was too great.”

Soon, in 1997, Children’s Village was built, and Brittany was able to see the pediatric neurologist at the Village through the specialty clinics.  This allowed the family to remain in Yakima, rather than move to Seattle. Brittany’s condition was eventually treated with a shunt that was inserted into the brain to relieve the pressure.

After 12 surgeries throughout the years, Brittany felt like a normal teenager. The process was not easy, but Children’s Village and its parent support programs helped them get through that very difficult time.  Family support services and medical access locally at Children’s Village also proved vital to the Coats family.

Through Parent to Parent, Gina said, “We also learned from sharing information.  It’s a great feeling when you can be around like people and draw from their experiences and share yours.”

Brittany took part in the recreational programs through Children’s Village and was matched with a certified mentor.

When Brittany graduated from Children’s Village, she felt it was her turn to give back, so she became a mentor for others.  “I felt I could step into that role and be able to give them (kids receiving services) guidance and let mothers know that I’ve been where they are.” Her family’s firsthand experience has made her believe in the programs and services offered at Children’s Village.


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Racing for a Cure Car Show

Thank you Team Midnight Racing for hosting their 3rd annual Racing for a Cure Car Show and Meet and making an impact locally for cancer patients. With over 1,500 new diagnosis a year in the Yakima valley, North Star Lodge Cancer Care Center provides exceptional and compassionate care.

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Can you help children with special needs in Yakima?

The gift of growing up. From updated equipment in Memorial’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to early diagnosis and treatment of special needs, you have given the incredible gift of growing up to thousands of children in our region. Your support has taught families how to work together to ensure vulnerable babies reach their fullest potential.

You can support children with special needs in Yakima:

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#GivingTuesday – Investing in Supportive Care for Our Community

Investing in local healthcare secures the supportive care that you or a family member may one day need. The best part: your care can be delivered right here, in your community, without having to worry about long distance travel. The end result: better healthcare outcomes and long-lasting relationships with those who were right by your side along the way.

Meet Danielle. She and her son, Alex, found the support they needed in the programs and services that are available at Children’s Village. Without the generous support of our community, such specialized care could only be made available at a distance, in major cities where there are larger populations to serve. Alex is now healthier… leading a productive, promising life.

This #GivingTuesday, November 28, lend your support to the amazing specialized care and services that exist at Children’s Village. Your gift will help others, like Danielle and Alex, find solace in the healthcare that resides in their community.

Visit our #GivingTuesday page to learn about other giving opportunities.

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