Tonight’s Dinner and a Movie couldn't have happened at a better time. We have a new family with many family members here from out of town, and they were so pleased we had this to offer. I fed over 50 people. Thank you again for this amazing program you are helping to support. We had dinner from Fiesta Mexicana.
Child Life Assistant
Sacred Heart Children's Hospital
Open Air Terrace
I thought I would send you some photos I took last week while my daughter was getting treatment. She was outside on the patio playing hoops and I happen to take a few photos.
This is my daughter, Kelli Ritter. She’s 12 years old and 2 and a half years post bone marrow transplant for Philadelphia chromosome positive ALL. We are at SHMC every month for treatment for her graft versus host disease from transplant.
Just thought we would share these photos and tell you thank you for improving the patio so that the kids have something to do out there!
"Terry, the music therapist, is the delight of my children. She and 'Mr. Guitar' are instantly diverting and entertaining for both Ellie and her big sister Noah Beth. The music speaks to them and comforts them. It gives them a chance to be kids, to take part in an activity that outside of the hospital and all of the ‘clean rules’ they can not do. This journey is hard. As parents we just don’t always have it in us to be fun and diverting. When someone else can step in and take this burden off of our shoulders it is a huge relief. It’s not just the music that makes Terry’s presence special. It’s that she cares. She cares about the children and us parents. She does what she can with music and anything else to ease our way through an inpatient stay or a clinic visit."
We live in Post Falls, Pinevilla addition. Our little 2 1/2 yr. old great grandson was in Sacred Heart Children's Hospital this past week. His favorite part of being there was getting to drive the little red and yellow car provided by your foundation. It made a world of difference in lifting his mood and making him more content. We are very thankful he is now back home. A million heartfelt thanks to you. We had known of Andrew's acute illness and had supported you with our prayers. Keishon plays with the small autographed football from our bank contribution then. What terrific positive things you have done in Andrew's loving memory! God bless you, your family, and your foundation.
Our best wishes always,
The Gillaspy Family
The Smiles Program is the best program for our children who have been through treatment. Dr. Engen worked closely with Kelli's Oncologist to make sure that they covered all the issues related to her orthodontic needs. Kelli had issues with her teeth being loose due to the shortening of her roots because of her cancer treatments. We had worries that she would eventually lose those teeth due to instability. Through her treatment her teeth have become stable and the worry lessened. The office staff was great to work with. They worked with our schedule of appointments when we would already be in the area (we live 100 miles from the office). They were very caring and compassionate and Dr. Engen called our house after the initial surgery they did to do the work and place the braces on, just to see hoe Kelli was doing.
I would definitely recommend (and have) both Dr. Engen's office and the Smiles Program to my fellow "momcologists". Thank you SO much to the Rypien Foundation for allowing Kelli to be part of this program!!
Thanks SO much!!
Josie & Kelli Ritter
A few weeks ago I was in the playroom of Sacred Heart Children's Hospital outpatient oncology clinic with my daughter Aria, who is presently enduring treatment for ALL. We are 16 months down the road and she is doing exceptionally well. I've reached this peculiar perspective along the journey where I feel sort of odd mentioning anything negative about this process of treatment since she is doing so well. I've discovered that her wellness isn't enough to eradicate the intensity of what she must endure to maintain this skewed oasis of wellness while in the desert of hardship. I find myself saying with exuberance, "Aria is doing so well!" and then my voice fades slightly followed by, "...but she's......" It is a strange perch upon which I teeter. It is knife's edge and I've had to learn to become quite an acrobat in order to avoid being stabbed.
The family advocate, was mentioning to a dad whose son was finishing his last day of treatment for lymphoma that the Rypien foundation would pay for braces. I was floored and completely inspired by the Smiles Program.
This is yet another twist along the journey that finds me shaking my head. How is it that one's spirit can be so heavily burdened by sorrow and worry and fear and at the same time be completely uplifted into the realm of inspiration, hope, mystery and awe? It is something very special in you to accomplish that. I find myself on my knees in gratitude and I thank you!
Julia M. Hayes
Mr. Rypien, I met you briefly at the open air terrace opening at Sacred Heart--Amazing event!! My wife and I cannot thank you enough for the help you and your foundation have given our grand daughter Maddie Coats -- She has gone through eleven months of treatment at both Sacred Heart and DoernBecher Hospital in Portland--We are happy to say her transplant has been successful and she has been allowed to go home for the first time since January--Your generosity at both the Hospital and at the Holiday Inn Express for my kids will never be forgotten--Never again will we stay anywhere else in Spokane--I tell all of our friends--Many times over the past year we have felt many emotions as you well know through Maddie's ordeal--children should never have to go through these things--but with help such as yours it helps to endure--again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Michael and Marilynn Taylor
I just wanted to thank the Rypien foundation for allowing our family to attend the Chief's Hockey night last Friday. Our twelve year old son, Skyler, was diagnosed with brain cancer/tumor in July 2006 has been through a lot. It is so wonderful and "refreshing" when unexpected surprises like the hockey game come along just to take your mind off everything else and spend quality time together as a family have lots of fun and meeting other people who are in similar circumstances. We cannot thank you enough!
Patrick and Denise McDonald, Skyler, Shelbi and Jayden