Nurse Meg’s

Beacon of Joy Endowment

 
Honoring Meg’s zest for life, passion for nursing and her joyful, calming impact on patients & families.
Funding Random Acts of Kindness
Soon after hearing Meg had an advanced stage of neuroendocrine carcinoma, Meg surprised us by commenting, “It could be so much worse.” As a Medical Unit nurse at Seattle Children’s, Meg was accustomed to working with kids with very serious chronic conditions. So early on we learned the strength that comes from extended family and friends uniting to offer support and grounding amidst an incredible health challenge.

Meg, a long-distance runner, did not allow cancer to define her or how she lived her life. Cancer was an uninvited obstacle presenting hurdles that she literally ran right through and flew over with infinite grace, speed, strength. Meg never dipped in her zest for life overflowing with adventure, laugher, love. Meg’s medical colleagues call Meg the “baby whisperer” with a special gift for nursing sick children that left permanent imprints on innumerable lives—patients, familes, co-workers. Nurse Meg took care of us all and is forever in our hearts-–running alongside, encouraging us to dream bigger, live stronger—find purpose, laughter, joy each day.

Meg’s wish is to be remembered as a “beacon of joy.” It is in this spirit that Meg’s family and friends are creating Nurse Meg’s Beacon of Joy Endowment. We want to fund Meg’s Medical Unit to identify families in need and offer up 'Random Acts of Kindness' that will bring unexpected joy during difficult times. These could be funds for housing, a much needed dinner out, extra supplies—anything Nurse Meg would have loved to have been able to give to one of her patient’s families in need.

Through this Endowment we also wish to demonstrate our gratitude to Meg’s nursing colleagues for their profound gift: “Memories of Nurse Meg” collection of 70+ hand-written notes. These at-work insights helped us visualize how Meg went about her shifts and her impact on her patients, families and colleagues—and their impact on her. Meg decided on a medical career back in middle school. These stories made clear how perfectly nursing—and Seattle Children’s—suited Meg. As one of her colleagues wrote: “Meg didn’t separate being a nurse from working as a nurse—it was who she was and she never said no to helping another nurse.” In social media, Meg became Nurse Meg. Below are a sampling of stories from Meg’s colleagues that offer a glimpse of who she was and how ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ will perpetuate Meg’s compassionate care for babies and children--fulfilling her wish to be remembered as a “beacon of joy.”

In the words of Meg’s colleagues:

“Of course Meg loved the snuggly babies, but she could bring a smile to the face of a cranky school age kid, be goofy and giggle with a preschooler and connect with a stoic teenager that no one else could. Meg had such an easy way with patients and made countless connections throughout her years on the Medical Unit. Families appreciated her calm demeanor when they were stressed, her dry sense of humor to break the tension and her genuine compassion for every person she encountered. Meg touched so many people and was a source of strength not only for her patients but her fellow nursing staff, MD’s, tech’s, etc.”

“When I started in 2010 I worked in Nutrition delivering meals to patients. Most times when I was on the medical floor doctors and nurses would be going about their business and I would go about mine with not much personal interaction. Meg was different. She always smiled, said “Hi,” asked how things were going. It meant a lot being a new person at Children’s and over the years when I saw her around the hospital I would ask her about her travels and tell her about my latest trip. She was a special person.”

“I was a new nurse on Medical and Meg was my night shift preceptor. Her job was to orient me to all things nursing, but she did so much more. She took me under her wing. She was the kindest of teachers. So patient. So funny. And so ‘friggen’ good at her job.”

“That magical quality that allowed even the freshest of strangers to instantly love Meg and feel comfortable and accepted seamlessly translated into her nursing care. Every family she ever worked with felt connected to Meg, helping them feel safe & understood---crucial in developing nurturing, therapeutic relationships. Working around Meg truly made me a more relational nurse who stops amidst the craziness to take a few minutes to visit with and hear how the patients and families are doing.”

“Meg was always smiling at work; her dry humor brought smiles to the rest of us. She would always ask how her co-workers were doing despite everything going on in her own life. She brought so much joy to our work family.”

“Families loved her. Patients loved her. Most of all, babies loved her. Many times I’d come out of a room to find Meg holding my patient. I’d ask “Was he crying?” and she’d tell me, “No, I just wanted to snuggle.” Her love of children was beautiful, bringing me to tears many times. She told us about her trials: how she was afraid her hair might fall out, how she wouldn’t be able to have kids of her own, and the different medications she’d be on; but still, she wanted to celebrate every joy in other people’s lives. She came to our baby showers, held our children so that we could eat. I looked through photos of my time with Meg and in every single one she is genuinely loving our children as if they were her own.”

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS sampling:

“This family has been here very unexpectedly for 4 months. The mom and dad have been far apart and see each other rarely on the weekends. The request was for a date night for the parents when dad comes to visit from across the mountains. The requesting nurse wrote: “Meg would have loved to play on the floor with this patient, would have loved pulling him in his wagon to explore the playroom, or simply snuggling him for his nap”.”

“The next family was actually a family that Meg had closely cared for. Both of the children were hospitalized for some time recently and the nurses requested a day out for the family (including the children) when they were discharged so they could just be a family!”

“A physician recommended a family when in talking with the mom of this newborn infant, heard mom say that she did not have a rocking chair at home, and she really wanted to be able to rock her first baby.”

“This patient’s mom never leaves the bedside and mom’s support system is her sisters. Due to our visitor restrictions with COVID, mom has been alone much of the time. This was for dinner out with her sisters.”

“This patient’s dad can only come on weekends. The gift was for a night away from the hospital for mom and dad. Here is what the nurse said in her form when describing the parents: “Their kindness, patience and commitment to their son reminds me of Meg’s commitment to her patients and families and the love she had for being a pediatric nurse.”

“This family has been here for 5 months. The mom is amazing and never takes a break; the dad is at home a ferry ride away with their other child. The nurse nominating wanted the mom and her husband to be able to take a break and have dinner out.

“This long-term patient’s mom is single with two other young children at home. This nurse wanted mom to be able to buy some extra groceries, or something for her own self-care.”

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Total Raised
$134,317.61

 

 

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