Kyla McCullough

Monday, October 13, 2008

This Is What It's All About!

At our second annual Kyla McCullough Gift Fund Dinner & Silent Auction held this last April we had two financial goals. One was to grant a wish at the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon®, and the other was to make a large donation to Doernbecher Children's Hospital. Both of these organizations played crucial roles in the experiences that we had with Kyla during her illness, and continue to provide for children that are in the position that Kyla was in. We are now thrilled to be able to share the results of your incredible support with you.

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon®
One of the charities that the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund supports is the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon®. Every time the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund grants a wish we have the honor and privilege of meeting with Tara Jones, the Events Coordinator at the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon ®. During this time, Tara fills us in on the wish that Kyla's fund granted, including some photos of the child Kyla's fund has been blessed enough to help. Our last meeting with Tara was a couple Fridays was not only great to catch up with her, but also wonderful to see photos and hear a bit about the teenager the Kyla's fund was able to grant a wish for.

Joshua, age 18, from the local area. I wish to Hawaii.
This year, the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund was able to sponsor a wish for Joshua. He has been living with Congenital Heart Disease for the past eighteen years and will continue to do so for the rest of his life. Joshua's wish was to go to Hawaii with his family. He and his family were able to enjoy Hawaii together, go to Pearl Harbor, shop, and relax in the sun. Among the stress and the daily drain of living with Congenital Heart Disease, Joshua and his family were able to make memories that will last forever in their hearts. It is wonderful and exciting to be a part of that!






Doernbecher Children's Hospital
This year was our first year to be able to direct funds to Doernbecher Children's Hospital. As we discussed our options with their representative, the decision of where to donate that money was much more difficult than we originally thought it would be. There are many great and worthy avenues to direct money to at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, but we really wanted the donation from the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund to go to the areas in which we thought best applied to Kyla's experiences there. We also wanted to be able to show all those who donated to Kyla's fund some specific, tangible things they helped purchase for the children who go in and out of that hospital. We believe with the careful planning and many hours of discussion we were able to do just that.

Doernbecher's Bead Program - $500
Anyone who attended this last year's dinner and silent auction should know about the bead program they have at Doernbecher. If you don't, then we as the hosts did not do our job! :) The children in the cancer center earn beads for things such as getting a shot, staying overnight in the hospital, undergoing neurosurgery, things that kids with cancer are forced to endure. Although it doesn't take away the difficult things these kids are dealing with, the program does put a positive spin on it. We know that Kyla was very excited every time she earned a new bead. It gives the kids something positive to focus on and look forward to, rather than giving complete focus to the difficult task ahead. We were very happy that the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund, with your help, could support this program with a $500 donation.

Doernbecher's Emergency Department Renovation - $5500
Doernbecher currently shares an Emergency Department with OHSU, and unlike the rest of the Doernbecher facility, it is not geared specifically for kids. Therefore, Doernbecher is currently raising money for an Emergency Department Renovation so they can have a more child-friendly and family-oriented environment for kids that come through that Emergency Department. Specifically, the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund (again, with your help) was able to donate $5,500 for a specialized Stryker Patient Stretcher just for kids. This is an area that is dear to our hearts as Kyla's last day with us was initially spent in the Emergency Department.

Doernbecher's Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund - $12,100
Doernbecher is continually doing research to find a cure for pediatric brain tumors. They have set up the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund to help support this cause. This area in particular is important to us, and we truly hope some of the donated funds can be used to help find a cure so that other children do not have to endure such hardship.

We hope that each of you that have supported the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund in some way take pride in knowing that you contributed to these worthy causes. We are striving to donate to the places that not only would please all of you, but relate it somehow to Kyla and what she went through. It is very rewarding to have the ability to give back to the kids who are suffering everyday and families who struggle daily with life changing experiences. We truly hope you feel the sense of accomplishment and realize the magnitude of what you participate in by being involved with The Kyla McCullough Gift Fund! More to come...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Writing about Wishes

One of my younger brothers, Joey, has always been one to talk sports. As a kid there were many times that we would be watching a Portland Trailblazers game on television and he would be doing his best to give his own play by play. So it came as no surprise to many of us that he is now in the Communications program at Boise State as a sophomore. To gain some experience in this area, Joey was wise to get a job at the campus radio station as a freshman last year. Over this last summer, Joey decided that he would really like to write for the sports section of the school paper, the Arbiter. However, he wasn't sure how he would go about getting a job like that. As it turned out, on the first day of one of Joey's fall classes this year the professor had each student introduce themselves to the rest of the class as an ice-breaker. Amazingly enough, one of the girls in his class turned out to be the editor at the Arbiter (what are the odds?). After class, Joey seized the opportunity, introduced himself to the girl, and talked to her about his desire to write to the paper. Now, a couple months later, Joey finds himself fulfilling his goal as he is working as a journalist for the sports section of the Arbiter. Way to go out and make it happen Joey!!!!

Joey has written a few articles for the Arbiter at this point but it was his latest article (Boise State athletes make wishes come true) that hit home for me. Great article Joey...thank you for doing your part.