Life gave Judy Rosso lemons, and so she made lemonade. In my dreams I have hair. . . is the first line of a poem Judy wrote while being treated for breast cancer at EvergreenHealth. “Cancer treatment is no picnic,” she says, but there were compensations. This poem was drawn from a deep well of inspiration that Judy discovered during treatment. “I felt so creative,” Rosso explains, and she was eager to share the fruits of her artistic windfall.
So she practiced her piano, and began to play in the EvergreenHealth Galleria on treatment days. At the suggestion of EvergreenHealth staff, she reviewed her collection of scenic photographs, then framed and donated 20 pieces for display in the cancer center. Scenes of tulip fields and ocean beaches brighten the treatment areas and provide respite for patients and staff.
Judy and her husband, Bob, have long made financial contributions to EvergreenHealth but during her cancer treatment she found even more ways to give. And from a bitter year battling cancer, this resourceful woman produced something sweet.
“It felt like someone had taken my heart between their hands and squeezed it as hard as they could.” Dan Albrecht’s life was on the line the day he suffered a heart attack. Fortunately, he was just minutes away from EvergreenHealth Medical Center, one of only seventeen hospitals nationwide cited for outstanding heart attack survival rates.
In work, time is money. With a heart attack, time is muscle. The national minimum standard for placement of a stent is 90 minutes from the time a patient arrives in the emergency room. (A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop an artery open.) Dan’s stents were in place in fewer than 30 minutes. “Dr [Edward] Kim saved my life,” Dan says. “How do you thank somebody that saved your life?”
The Evergreen Gala raised $850,000 to support EvergreenHealth's Cardiac program, which has intensified its efforts to integrate, improve and expand cardiac services for our community – to bring state-of-the-art high tech to the hospital known for its high touch. How do you measure the efficacy of EvergreenHealth's cardiac services? Dan Albrecht is living proof.
Chris Swartz’s father, Frank, was 6’5” and all legs, according to his daughter, and finding a wheelchair to fit him was a challenge. As a result, “I have a long history with wheelchairs, and I know what a difference the right wheelchair makes.”
Chris’s parents, Frank and Thelma Rule, were longtime volunteers at EvergreenHealth. When they moved here from California in 1989, Frank began his work at the Information Desk. A short time later, Thelma joined the volunteer team in Outpatient Surgery. Between them, they invested 35 years and 9,416 hours in Evergreen Hospital.
So in memory of her parents, Chris and her family made a donation to EvergreenHealth's Volunteer Services. The result? Four new wheelchairs, each embroidered with her parents’ names. “People were always inspired by my dad because although he used a walker, he showed up for work at the hospital and rarely missed a day.”
And now, wheelchairs donated in honor of the Rules (and piloted by volunteers) carry patients throughout the Hospital. The chairs are a fitting memorial to Frank and Thelma, committed volunteers – who are gone now, but continue to serve.
Rosemary Hemp Langford