We hope this letter finds you in high spirits this holiday season.
It feels fitting to begin with a heartwarming story. A few months ago, we accepted a $266 gift from Sophia Chang (age 8), Mallory Brown (age 8) and Gavin Chang (age 11). The three kids decided to sell watermelon popsicles during West Seattle’s Fourth of July Kids Parade to benefit uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s — all in honor of a former classmate of Sophia’s who received care at the hospital.
Gifts like these reaffirm our belief that everyone can be a philanthropist. They also demonstrate how thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds join together to help fulfill our founding promise to provide equitable care for all kids in our region, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.
Uncompensated care offers families welcome relief during some of the hardest days of their lives. In the past four years, there has been a 32% increase in the need for uncompensated care. This is due to a few factors: the population we serve is growing, we care for the most critically ill children and we do not turn away any child from our region.
It’s thanks to donors like you that we can meet this need. Last year, our generous community contributed more than $21 million to offset the record-breaking $282 million Seattle Children’s provided in uncompensated care.
This special issue of Connection is dedicated to the hope, care and cures you provide with your gifts to uncompensated care. From estate bequests and corporate sponsorships to fun runs and watermelon popsicle sales, each and every gift matters.
Jeff Sperring, MD
CEO, Seattle Children's
SVP and Chief Development Officer, Seattle Children's
Your contributions to uncompensated care help ensure that every patient gets the care they need, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. Hear directly from patient families, donors and Seattle Children’s team members expressing what uncompensated care means to them.
Uncompensated care can ease financial burdens and cover the support needed beyond what a family can afford or what insurance will reimburse. Having access to social workers, wraparound services and direct care gives every child the best chance to lead their healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Meet some of the kids your donations have helped.
In 2019, Samantha and Kyle Hatch received wonderful news: Samantha was pregnant with identical twins. The couple already had two kids, Ben and Penny, and envisioned all of the roughhousing, road trips and happy mayhem that comes with four children.
But everything changed when a routine ultrasound showed that one of the twins, William, had hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a severe congenital condition in which the left side of the heart is underdeveloped. Weeks after William’s birth and his first heart surgeries, 18-month-old Penny was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a solid-tumor cancer with a typical survival rate of about 50%.
Meet the Hatch family and see how William and Penny are now thriving.
Stage was born three weeks premature and soon began having seizures. He was diagnosed with mitochondrial myopathy, a life-threatening disease with no cure and symptoms that vary for each patient. For Stage and his family, it meant unexpected lifelong care.
Bills from hospital visits, medications and ambulance rides began to pile up, and soon the family’s home was going into foreclosure. At a loss for what else to do, Jessie made sure she had medication for Stage and then called Seattle Children’s to cancel his upcoming appointments. Instead, Stage’s care team connected Jessie with a social worker, who helped them apply for uncompensated care.
“Being a parent is stressful enough. No one should have to choose between getting lifesaving care for their kids and buying groceries or paying bills.”
— Emily Hansen, donor who supports uncompensated care
Interested in getting involved?
“It all goes back to the many people who support this event: the sponsors, golfers, volunteers and donors. Because of them, we can make a real difference for families who need uncompensated care for their kids.”
— Jan Sinegal, founder, Friends of Costco Guild, $13.7 million raised at the 2023 event
“I have dedicated much of my career to making a positive difference in the lives of the families we serve. My team and I care about the families and truly appreciate the donors that contribute to make our program possible. Philanthropy is essential for our hospital!”
— Aminah Rabah, financial counselor at Seattle Children’s