Beyond The Office
I am a true believer that you always get back more than you give.
As I stated in my bio, I am/was a weekly volunteer at Phoenix Children's Hospital. I've been a bedside volunteer in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and the CVICU (Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit) and I've also been a playroom volunteer on a general floor. A bedside volunteer is responsible for holding babies, checking on the parents and making sure the kids have someone to keep them company if they're alone a lot. Along with the actual volunteering, I also participated in fundraisers for the hospital through the radio station I worked for in Phoenix, Arizona Sports (ESPN affiliate) and often help with off-site events as well.
I feel it is important for me to give back to Children's Hospital because of my experience at Minneapolis Children's Hospital when I was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) in 10th grade. The nurses and my doctors were incredible and I would not be the person I am today without them. I became so close to one of the nurses and my Rheumatologist that I invited both of them to my wedding. I still keep in touch with the nurse, Sue but unfortunately my doctor, Joyce Warshawsky, passed away from breast cancer.
Seeing the resilient kids and helping the tired/exhausted parents once each week makes me appreciate all that I have, including my health and my child's health. You never know when you might need a little help or be in a similar situation yourself. The doctors, nurses, child life specialists and volunteers are angels on Earth.
I encourage everyone to help in their communities any way possible. I chose PCH because it has special meaning to me and is important in my life but you may have a different cause that is near and dear to your heart.
The Katie Moore Foundation (KMF)
The other charity that is extremely important to me is the Katie Moore Foundation ( www.katiemoore.org ). Katie Moore (Urbanic) is one of the most beautiful, strong, talented women I know. I played club soccer with her in high school for several years. She went on to star at Harvard on the soccer team and married the love of her life Dominic Moore, who now plays in the NHL for the NY Rangers.
At the age of 31, Katie was diagnosed with a rare liver disease called Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma. She was a very healthy, vibrant, strong person, who was still playing soccer, tennis and running marathons when this diagnosis came out of nowhere. Just nine months after diagnosis, Katie passed away on January 7, 2013. Her husband Dom started this foundation, along with her mom, to honor Katie and her fighting spirit, as well as help fund research for rare cancers.
Again, I encourage you to reach out and volunteer your time, your money, your voice, anything you can to a cause that touches you and is important to you. I also encourage you to check out Katie's site and several of the stories that have been written and recorded about her and Dom over the past year. Their story alone will make you want to jump into action in your community.