Damonick rings the bell!
A year ago, Damonick Kunz was diagnosed with a bone cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. On April 4 he and his family, with a large gathering of donors, volunteers and staff, celebrated the end of his successful treatment at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.
Damonick was the first of many children who will ring this big bell to mark important milestones in their recovery from serious illness or injury. The Milestone Bell is installed in the rose garden near Mary Bridge, and is surrounded by whimsical topiary animals, hundreds of flowers and a prehistoric-looking “dinosaur food” plant.
About the Mary Bridge Milestone Bell
Patty Tabet Ferguson’s idea for a bell that children could ring in celebration of a medical milestone was inspired by the theme she selected for last year’s Festival of Trees, Bells Will Be Ringing. Patty has supported the Festival as a tree designer, committee member and donor for many years and served as chair (aka Queen) of the entire Festival of Trees in 2013.
Naming rights for the following year will be auctioned at the annual Festival of Trees Gala. This year, the bell has been named in loving memory of James K. Pease by his daughters and their husbands, Karen Pease and Bob Barlow and Patty and Joe Candiotta.
The bell is a bronze sculpture created by Tom Torrens, a well-know local artist. The sculpture and accompanying plaque was placed in the Mary Baker Russell Rose Garden and rung for the first time by Damonick Kunz, a seven-year-old cancer survivor, on April 4, 2014 – exactly one year to the day that he was first diagnosed with bone cancer. In addition to expertly ringing the bell, Damonick proved equally adept at serving punch and cookies to the many people who were there to celebrate with him.
May the Mary Bridge Milestone Bell ring loudly and often!
Sisters say thanks to Mary Bridge
|Payton Allen was a baby when she first met pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Dale Hall. This month, she reunited with Dr. Hall and his wife, Susie.
A girl who needed heart surgery as a baby is now 12 years old, and she’s giving back to the hospital that saved her life.
Since she was 5 years old, Payton Allen and her sister Samantha have raised money to help other young patients at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. They've raised more than $65,000 over the past seven years.
“I keep fundraising because you can see how much it really makes a difference and how important it is to the hospital,” Payton said during a visit this month to Mary Bridge from her home in Texas. “Without donations the hospital wouldn’t be where it is today and saving so many lives.”
Payton stopped by Mary Bridge to drop off this year’s donation, and to reunite with her pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Dale Hall, and his wife, Susie.
“Dr. Hall and his team touched Payton's heart in more ways than one,” the Allen family writes on their website, Our Hearts Joined.
“Dr. Hall literally touched Payton's heart during two surgeries, but he also touched her heart and the hearts of her family by being so much more than just her surgeon. Dr. Hall and his team cared for the entire family during Payton's first 7 months of life and now it is time for our family to touch the hearts of other children at Mary Bridge.”
Their donations support the Dr. Dale and Susie Hall Art Cart, Tree House: A Place for Families, and a fund that gives to "Where The Need is Greatest" at Mary Bridge.
In 2009, Payton and Samantha's work was honored at the Mary Bridge Heroes Golden Rocking Chair Youth Award at the Mary Bridge Festival of Trees.
During one of Patyon's return visits to Mary Bridge, the parent of a young patient who needed surgery told her, "You give me hope."
Support their 2014 fundraising for Mary Bridge:Donate Now Donate Now
Introducing South King Health Foundation
MultiCare’s history in South King County dates back decades, but in recent years, its presence has become more significant with the completion of the Covington Medical Center in 1993 and the acquisition of Auburn Medical Center in 2012, in addition to its clinics in Auburn, Kent, Federal Way and Maple Valley. MultiCare’s long-term commitment to serving this community will be further enhanced by the recently established South King Health Foundation.
This new foundation will work with the community to improve the health of its population and support MultiCare’s mission of providing high quality care. The volunteer board members and new Executive Director Alicia Chapman (pictured) can’t wait to get started.
Board members from left to right: Stephen Anderson, MD, co-chair; Sara Long; Steffanie Fain; Alicia Chapman; Terry Davis, co-chair; and Sue Singer. Not pictured: Hugh Kodama and David Nicewonger.
Although the work of the Foundation is new to the community, it is familiar to MultiCare employees in Auburn and Covington. Staff members have had the opportunity to participate in MultiCare Gives – and they have! Thanks to the extra incentive of a challenge grant from Medical Imaging Northwest, close to $40,000 was raised to support MultiCare’s South King County patients and programs in 2014.
More about the new Foundation’s Board
• Dr. Anderson, Cascade Emergency Physicians, has practiced emergency medicine at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center for more than 25 years. He has filled many roles including Chief of Staff and Chairman of Emergency Services.
• Terry Davis is the Director of Franchising and Government Affairs for Comcast and an active community leader. The Auburn Reporter named him its Person of the Year for 2010
• Steffanie Fain is an associate with Seattle law firm Gordon and Rees LLP, and a former judicial extern at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. She served as a spokesperson for Under Armour’s nationwide breast cancer awareness campaign.
• Sue Singer is deeply committed to Auburn and South King County. In 2011, King County Executive Dow Constantine declared December 19, 2011, Sue Singer Day.
• Alicia Chapman is the new Executive Director of South King Health Foundation and serves as a non-voting member of the Board. Most recently, Alicia was the Director of Special Events and Corporate Relations for the Foundations of MultiCare. Previously, she was Senior Vice President of Marketing for United Way of Pierce County.
• Hugh Kodama is Vice President, South King Region, MultiCare Health System and serves as a non-voting member of the Board.
•Sara Long is Vice President, Foundations of MultiCare. She has been instrumental in establishing MultiCare’s South King County Health Foundation and serves as a non-voting member of the Board. There are now four foundations under Sara’s leadership. Good Samaritan Foundation, Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation, MultiCare Health Foundation and South King Health Foundation support MultiCare’s hospitals, clinics and programs throughout the South Sound region.
•David Nicewonger is Chief Operating Officer of MultiCare Auburn Medical Center and also serves as a non-voting member of the Board.
Our Donors Help Save Lives
Several years ago, Festival of Trees guests raised the funds to purchase an ECMO machine for Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. This incredible equipment takes over when a child's heart needs to rest … or a baby's. Here is Evelyn's story: