Shared Hospital Experiences Lead to Enduring Guild Friendships
Andrea Stiles’ daughter spiked a fever of 101 degrees when she was just 8 days old. Heeding their pediatrician’s recommendation, Andrea and her husband, Jason, rushed their baby to Seattle Children’s Emergency Room. The couple spent three days in the hospital while the care team kept baby Jordan under observation.
“We’re so thankful that her fever didn’t amount to anything dangerous or long lasting, but those three days in the hospital gave us a firsthand look at what happens there,” says Stiles. “We’re so impressed by the quality of care Jordan received and so thankful to have expert care like this just 30 minutes from home.”
Later that year, a neighbor invited Stiles to a Seattle Children’s guild luncheon fundraiser, where a patient’s mom shared her inspiring story. As the women at her table started talking, they discovered that every one of them had a personal connection to Seattle Children’s: a child who had been treated at the hospital. From broken bones to heart surgery, they bonded that day over stories of struggles and healing.
New & Next Campaign Highlights
Pediatric Cancer Research: What Sets Seattle Children’s Apart
A central focus of It Starts With Yes is fueling the power and promise of immunotherapy. We’re building on what we’ve learned to refine treatment approaches until T-cell immunotherapy brings cures to more kids with cancer. To expand Seattle Children’s T-cell immunotherapy research capabilities, a portion of the campaign funds Building Cure, a 540,000-square-foot research facility opening this fall in downtown Seattle. With this expansion, we will accelerate research for dozens of childhood diseases for which immunotherapy holds great promise, including cancer, diabetes, sickle cell anemia and HIV. The facility’s Cure Factory™, a state-of-the-art cell therapy product manufacturing center, will be one of the largest of its kind in the country.
We talked with Olena Nyzhnykevych, vice president of development for pediatric cancer, to learn what sets Seattle Children’s apart when it comes to cancer research, and how philanthropy fuels breakthrough treatments.
GN: Being fairly new to the organization — what has made the biggest impression on you?
ON: The thing that has impressed me the most at Seattle Children’s is the genuine kindness so many people have and their commitment to helping other people. I feel like all of us who work here are so fortunate to have such a beautiful community that helps us do what we do.
GN: What stands out about Seattle Children’s cancer care?
ON: Well, there are several things, starting with the fact that our outcomes are better than the national average for most forms of childhood cancer combined. We treat more young cancer patients than any other hospital in our region, and we’re expanding to treat even more with Building Cure.
GN: And immunotherapy specifically?
ON: We have the most comprehensive pediatric CAR T-cell therapy program in the world. We are proud of the fact that 93% of patients achieved complete initial remission in a clinical trial using genetically reprogrammed T cells to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia. We also treat more types of childhood cancers using CAR T-cell therapies than any other facility.
GN: How does philanthropy make a difference?
ON: Accelerating immunotherapy research is a financial challenge as well as a scientific one — these trials wouldn’t happen without our generous community of donors, including our unique and powerful Guild Association. Philanthropy speeds up our ability to find treatments for many types of cancer.
GN: What are you most excited about for the future?
ON: In 2013, we enrolled our
first patient in a CAR T-cell immunotherapy trial for leukemia. Now, six years later, more than 250 patients have enrolled across 10 different trials targeting various types of cancer. Our researchers believe that in 10 years we will be able to call CAR T-cell immunotherapy a cure for acute lymphoblastic leukemia!
GN: What is most striking to you about the Guild Association?
ON: It is a testament to the collaborative spirit of this institution that so many guild leaders serve on our campaign leadership council and on the Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation board. Every day I learn something new about the Guild Association — a one-of-a-kind fundraising powerhouse!
Your Yes Saves Lives — Like Mine
By Camille Goodale, Santa Cruz, California
I was running out of options when I joined Dr. Rebecca Gardner’s CAR T-cell immunotherapy clinical trial at Seattle Children’s. From the very first day, I felt cared for — Seattle Children’s is like one huge support network.
The new T cells — my own fighter cells reengineered to kill cancer — did their job swiftly and I was in remission in just 10 days. Unfortunately, they didn’t stick around. And the faster T cells leave, the more likely patients are to relapse — so next, I needed a bone marrow transplant.
The transplant went well, but six months later the cancer was back. Luckily, I was eligible for yet another Seattle Children’s immunotherapy trial. It put me into remission, but again the disease returned.
In May, Mom and I were back in Seattle with all our fingers (and toes) crossed for success in another immunotherapy trial — this one with a promising new approach for stubborn T cells like mine. I received my engineered T cells and I’m happy to report that they were effective:
Dr. Gardner confirmed I am again in remission!
The potential for immunotherapy is game-changing in the battle against cancer. In the very near future, it could be the go-to treatment from the start and spare kids from having to live with long-term impacts of chemo or radiation. Thanks to your support of cancer research, scie is staying one step ahead of me.
Derailed by acute lymphoblastic leukemia as a college sophomore, Camille Goodale went through standard chemo treatments, but her cancer returned. She has participated in three CAR T-cell immunotherapy trials at Seattle Children’s to try to beat the stubborn disease, and she’s hopeful that the latest trial will put her cancer into permanent remission.
Thanks to our guilds that say yes to cancer-fighting immunotherapy trials!
- Ahmie’s Hope Guild
- Colton’s Army Guild
- Crush Kids’ Cancer Guild
- Cure Every Kid Guild
- Even You Guild
- Friends for Life Guild
- Friends of Kathi Goertzen Guild
- ImmunoMomentum! Guild
- LUMA Guild
- Project Grace Guild
- Seattle University Dance Marathon Guild
- Strong Cares Guild
- Team Becca Guild
- The Big Picture Guild
- Tied Together Junior Guild
Support Seattle Children’s Spiritual Care
Join Our Heartwarming Drive
A stay in the hospital can produce many feelings, including fear, discouragement, sadness and loneliness. The staff and chaplains at Seattle Children’s provide respectful spiritual care and emotional support to patients, families and staff of all faith traditions and cultures.
This year, the Guild Association is collecting spiritual and religious items to be distributed to patients, families and staff and to be used in the hospital chapel and meditation room. If you would like to support this effort, purchase an item from the Spiritual Care wish list to be delivered directly to Seattle Children’s, or make a donation to Spiritual Care online.
Thank you for your generosity!
New Private Facebook Group Connects Guild Members
The Guild Association recently launched a Facebook group where our members can ask others for advice, bounce around ideas and share successes.
“The Seattle Children’s Guild Association Facebook group is open to all guild members and is a place they can engage with each other about anything guild related. We hope the group will strengthen our greater guild community by making it easier for members to connect, share and encourage each other’s inspiring fundraising efforts,” says Emily Downing, guild development coordinator.
Your Membership Dues Help Advance Our Mission to Serve All Kids
Oct. 1 marks the start of the 2020 fundraising year. Soon you will begin receiving annual dues reminders by mail and email. Please renew your membership by mail or help us go green by renewing online. Save time and receive fewer reminders by renewing now! If you have questions, contact the Guild Association office at 206-987-2153 or email us.