Family Relates Impact of Guilds’ Founding Promise
“Even though Emmy was dangerously ill, we still had a mortgage, car payment and normal bills. Without Seattle Children’s financial assistance, we would have gone into debt and lost our home.”
Guilds Support of Uncompensated Care Offers Hope
When Seattle Children’s opened its doors in 1907, our founders had a clear mission for the hospital – to care for every child, regardless of their ability to pay. Thanks to unwavering guild support, It Starts With Yes: The Campaign for Seattle Children’s is advancing our core mission to care for every child and help families when they need it most. Your gifts helped Emmy Cole’s parents focus on their little girl’s health rather than the cost of medical care needed to restore it as well as supporting the clinical care and groundbreaking research that saved her life.
With a smile that lights up a room, Emmy is a spirited 5-year-old who battled and beat a deadly cancer thanks to the experts at Seattle Children’s. In the span of just three weeks in 2015, Emmy went from complaining of hip pain to walking with a limp to barely being able to walk at all. After several visits, their pediatrician advised her parents to go to Seattle Children’s Emergency Department to confirm a suspicion that Emmy, then just 2, had rheumatoid arthritis.
Instead, an MRI revealed a high-risk neuroblastoma – a deadly cancerous tumor that started in the toddler’s mid-back and wound its way around her spine. “The first day we were in complete shock and disbelief,” remembers her mom, Dani. “The second day, we were terrified. By the third day, we said, ‘How are we going to do this? Do we have to sell our house?’”
Freed from financial worry
That’s when a team member from Seattle Children’s financial assistance program visited to check their eligibility. At first, it didn’t seem like the Coles would qualify with their combined income. “The person stuck around trying to figure a way for us to meet the requirements, and then I mentioned I was taking a year off to be with Emmy during her treatment,” she recalls. “They subtracted my income and we qualified. I couldn’t quite believe someone on staff was trying to give us financial assistance rather than deny us.” The Coles now understand why: Emmy spent 200 days in the hospital and braved multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and a stem cell transplant among other treatments. Two years after being diagnosed with cancer, little Emmy’s prognosis is good and doctors report that there has been no evidence of her cancer recurring.
The heart of uncompensated care
“Even though Emmy was dangerously ill, we still had a mortgage, car payment and normal bills. Without Seattle Children’s financial assistance, we would have gone into debt and lost our home,” she says. “Seattle Children’s Uncompensated Care Fund covered anything our insurance wouldn’t. We never had to ask about cost when our care team recommended tests and treatments and – more importantly – we could focus completely on getting Emmy well. We are forever grateful.”