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I Am Seattle Children's

Dianne McAuliffe: I Am Honored

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Dianne McAuliffe

Dianne McAuliffe

Almost every Thursday afternoon for nearly 13 years, master weaver Dianne McAuliffe has led weaving projects in our playroom.

Thirteen years ago, a woolen mill in New Hampshire donated looms and yarn to Seattle Children’s and someone asked me to lead weaving projects in the hospital’s playroom.

I love to weave and I love kids. I figured I’d give it a try.

Over the years, I’ve watched hundreds of patients, siblings and parents benefit from weaving. I’ve learned that it’s not about the yarn, or the loom, or the multicolored scarf they can take home.

It’s not about the weaving at all. It’s about the healing that happens when one’s hands are busy enough to calm a stressed mind.

I remember a boy who was at Children’s for six weeks. He got so good at weaving that he started teaching the other kids — a huge boost to his self-confidence and an inspiration to me.

Recently, my heart swelled as I listened to two teen girls about the age of my own daughter. As their hands moved across the looms, they talked honestly about the side effects of their transplant medications.

When a patient can’t use one arm because of an IV, the child and a hospital volunteer weave together. The accomplishment on their faces empowers me to meet my own challenges.

I get so much more from these kids than I can ever give.

Once, while weaving a scarf, an 8-year-old boy looked up at me and said, “This is magic.”

I feel the same way every time I bring my looms to Children's.

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