I’ve volunteered at Seattle Children’s since they would let me at age 16 – but I’ve been a patient in the muscular dystrophy clinic most of my life.
Sometimes friends ask me, “Don’t you want to stay as far away from that place as possible?” I have to laugh because it’s just the opposite.
As hard as some of my experiences have been – lung failure from pneumonia in sixth grade and surgery to fuse my spine with a metal rod in seventh grade – my doctors, nurses and therapists made them bearable with their compassion and encouragement. They were always pulling for me.
I like making deliveries to a child’s room the best. I know just how those kids feel – they miss their own bed, their room, their pets, their friends and their mom’s cooking! A teddy bear or balloon can make their day.
Lots of people I volunteer with have contributed more time and energy to Children’s than my whole age! Behind the simple tasks that we do – cleaning medical equipment, filing, putting together crayon packs for the kids – I see their commitment and I’m inspired by their passion to give back.
Volunteering helps me reflect on my journey with muscular dystrophy. I can’t play sports or even walk very well, but at Children’s I’m reminded that my disability doesn’t define me. There’s always a place for me here.
I Am Seattle Children's: The People Behind the Care
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