How You Join Generous Corporate Sponsors to Brighten Hospital Stays.
Being in the hospital can be hard for anyone. For young children, though, fear and anxiety are even more heightened. And, if a stay occurs on a holiday, it can really tarnish something special and fun in their lives. That is where you and the Spirit of Children come in.READ MORE
You probably know Spirit of Halloween as the company that sells Halloween costumes and decorations. But since 2012, the company has also joined with McLeod Health Foundation donors, like you, to brighten hospital stays for our region’s children.
The company has donated more than $165,000 to support various initiatives within the McLeod Children’s Hospital’s Child Life Program and provided an abundance of costumes, accessories, and other party supplies free of charge to help our patients celebrate this holiday.
“Spirit of Children and other donations supporting the Child Life Program make an incredible difference for our children and their families staying in the hospital during October,” says Cory Prescott, the McLeod Child Life Coordinator. “Our pediatric patients can pick out costumes for the parties that we offer, and they are often thrilled to choose something that brightens their day.”
Since Halloween costumes can be expensive, your support helps bring joy and fun to many more patients than the Child Life Program’s budget would allow on its own. Thanks to you, siblings of patients even get to pick out their own costumes.
Spirit of Children is about so much more than just costumes or party accessories. Studies have shown links between patients’ mental well-being and recovery outcomes. So, the smiles you bring to our patients’ faces represent more than just a happy moment during a difficult period — you are literally helping them get better.
“Putting on a Superhero costume helps our patients feel just brave enough to get through the hard things they have to experience in the hospital,” Cory concluded. “And that can make all the difference.”
Image shown: McLeod pediatric patient Anthony McCrory remained brave during his hospital stay thanks to gifts from McLeod Foundation donors and Spirit of Halloween.Close
McLeod Health Foundation Donors Fund Lifesaving Medical Technology.
The birth of a child is accompanied by big emotions — love, gratitude, and relief. But for Renata Price and Tony Linster of Bishopville, a traumatic experience during the birth of their daughter, Mariah, amplified these feelings.
Your generosity helped save a life.READ MORE
“I had a normal pregnancy,” Renata remembers. “No warning signs at all.”
After Mariah was delivered by C-section at a hospital close to their home, a joyful occasion immediately turned terrifying. Mariah struggled to breathe and was airlifted to McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, where Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. David Steflik was on standby awaiting her arrival.
Using a cutting-edge Pediatric Echo machine, funded by your gifts to the McLeod Health Foundation, Dr. Steflik rapidly diagnosed Mariah with transposition of the great arteries (TGA), a condition where the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed. If untreated, the body’s organs fail due to lack of oxygen.
Renata endured a physically and emotionally agonizing two days recovering from her C-Section before she could be reunited with Mariah.
“I was frustrated and heartbroken that this was happening to my little girl,” Renata recounted.
“But the care we received was a godsend,” Tony added.
After surgery and a month-long hospital stay, Mariah was discharged. Today, she is happy and full of energy.
Dr. Steflik credits his team and the Pediatric Echo machine for producing this happy ending.
“Our Pediatric Echo machine is our eyes and ears, an invaluable tool to help make an accurate and timely diagnosis,” Dr. Steflik explained. “Without the right team and technology in place to make a quick diagnosis and determine an appropriate treatment, Mariah’s condition would have deteriorated further and quickly become life-threatening.”
Renata and Tony share Dr. Steflik’s gratitude.
“We are very grateful and cannot thank the people who support the McLeod Foundation enough,” Tony says. “You saved Mariah’s life. Lord, bless the people who provided this support.”
You can volunteer for this year’s McLeod Children’s Hospital Radiothon October 19-20, 2023. Volunteers are needed to help answer phones and assist in this exciting live broadcast from the concourse of McLeod Regional Medical Center. To get more information or to volunteer, please call 843-777-2694.
Image shown above: Mariah Linster, pictured with Dr. David Steflik, is able to live a full and happy life thanks to the Pediatric Echo machine made possible by McLeod Foundation donors.Close
Your Generosity Helps McLeod Establish the Region’s First and Only Forensic Nurse Examiner Program
Thanks to McLeod Health Foundation donors like you, victims of sexual assault in the Pee Dee now have immediate access to specialized, trauma-informed care.READ MORE
When a hospital lacks a forensic nurse examiner program, victims of sexual violence are treated among the general emergency department population. This means vulnerable individuals, fresh off their life’s most traumatic moments, are forced to sit hours in the waiting room to receive treatment that fails to meet the standard of care. This experience traumatizes victims even further.
Now, thanks to your generosity, our region’s sexual assault victims are immediately triaged and provided a complete forensic exam in a private space dedicated to this care.
Before the McLeod Forensic Nursing program was established, victims of sexual violence in our region had to travel 100+ miles to receive a forensic exam. Hundreds of victims have made this profoundly difficult journey over the years. But an untold number, debilitated by the assault against, have decided to forgo treatment altogether.
Thanks to you, no longer.
“The need for this program is clear,” said Shannon Scott, the program’s coordinator. “Our first pediatric patient was just three years old.”
Forensic nurses are specially trained to provide compassionate and understanding care to both pediatric and adult victims of sexual assault. Additionally, these nurses are experts in victim advocacy – they assist patients in their long-term recovery.
In addition to helping ensure our region’s victims receive the highest standard of care, McLeod Foundation donors have also played a crucial role in lifting spirits during these distressing times.
Through the McLeod Foundation’s HERO Fund, pediatric victims are given backpacks – known as Comfort Bags — containing teddy bears, coloring books, crayons, and new clothes.
“I wish that donors could see the change when we give a precious, frightened child a teddy bear to hold close or place a coloring book and crayons in their lap,” Shannon says. “And, they are so proud when we provide them new, pretty clothing. What a blessing this fund is for children.”
You can be a Hero for a child who is the victim of assault by making a gift of $50 to provide a Hero Bag while they are in the Emergency Department. The bags include items of comfort and a change of clothes. To be a Hero, visit mcleodinspiredbyyou.org or return your gift in the reply envelope provided.Close
Generous Nurse Shares Her Appreciation for McLeod Foundation Donors
For many donors like you, the desire to help others through the McLeod Health Foundation is sparked by a profound personal healthcare crisis. Generosity and the desire to give back turns a crisis into actions that help others, and occasionally yourself, in tangible ways.READ MORE
Lindsey Sims, a nursing supervisor with McLeod OB/GYN Associates, and her family experienced the positive impact of your gifts to the Foundation nine years ago. They were blessed by the high-quality, compassionate care her grandfather received at the Hospice House.
Her family’s healthcare crisis inspired Lindsey to become a regular donor to the Foundation through payroll deduction.
In December, Lindsey once again experienced the benefits of your generosity.
Pregnant with twins, Lindsey suffered a placental abruption (a sudden separation of the placenta from the uterus). She had to be rushed to hospital, knowing that her babies’ lives were in danger.
Though they were delivered safely via C-section at 28 weeks, each baby weighed only 40 ounces and had to spend ten weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Through your gifts to fund new, specialized incubators, you helped save Lindsey’s precious babies.
The incubators are a tremendous asset not only for infants, but for parents, who can interact with their newborns, change diapers, and give sponge baths through ports in the incubators. These features were key to helping Lindsey endure this frightening ordeal.
“Our incubators helped me feel more at peace,” Lindsey recounted. “Being able to care for my babies and look at all their daily statistics on the screen gave me a sense of control over a situation that was scary and not normal at all.”
Lindsey’s story shows how gifts like yours have an immense effect on the healthcare for our region – impacting the lives of families across multiple generations. We thank you, our donors, for your kindness and generosity.
You can volunteer for this year’s McLeod Children’s Hospital Radiothon October 19 – 21, 2022. Volunteers are needed to help answer phones and assist in this exciting live broadcast from the concourse of McLeod Regional Medical Center. To get more information or to volunteer, please call (843) 777-2694 or return the enclosed reply envelope.Close
Giving Abundantly for the Region’s Children
The mission of RE/MAX Southern Shores is, “To assist one another in living abundant lives.”READ MORE
In addition to their service to the community, this mission drives the business’s 15-year partnership with McLeod Children’s Hospital, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital (CMNH). Nationally, RE/MAX is a sponsor of CMNH, and the support of RE/MAX Southern Shores to the McLeod Health Foundation directly benefits the children treated at McLeod Children’s Hospital.
For Mandy and Ted Fulford, owners of RE/MAX Southern Shores, living an abundant life includes giving back to help children and families who depend on McLeod Children’s Hospital for specialized, critical care.
“Our teams look forward to regular visits to the Children’s Hospital,” Mandy said. “These are some of the most memorable and life-changing moments with our agents. We are able to meet the children and their families whose lives are being changed in part due to our support.”
Three years ago, the Fulfords and their agents learned of an urgent need to update monitors in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at McLeod Children’s Hospital. Every agent, through the RE/MAX Miracle Home Program, donated a portion of their sales to support this vital cause. They also held creative fundraising events and volunteered to help these children in need.
Thanks in part to these efforts, the NICU now has these new state-of-the-art monitors, which allow the staff to provide the highest level of care for these tiny babies. Their gifts are helping to ensure these little ones can thrive and continue to grow and one day go home with their family.
The generosity of the RE/MAX team came full circle the following year, when the family of one of their agents delivered twin babies who needed this specialized care in the NICU at McLeod Children’s Hospital. Those very monitors, so lovingly provided by their generous gifts, now helped these beautiful twins survive and grow stronger so they could go home.
“Through the dedication of our RE/MAX Southern Shores family, we were able to give significantly to support the children of our region,” Mandy and Ted proudly shared.
For everyone at RE/MAX Southern Shores, helping others live an abundant life is celebrated — both with the clients they serve and the patients and families who benefit from their generous support.Close
Young Leaders Focus on Healthcare Need
When a group of individuals come together to work towards a common goal, they will accomplish so much more than going it alone.READ MORE
This is the power in joint philanthropy and is especially true for members of the Circle of Excellence, a young group of donors who support patient care projects at McLeod Health.
The Circle of Excellence is comprised of individuals and couples under age 45 who make a generous annual contribution of $500 or more to the McLeod Health Foundation.
These young leaders have found their common interest in healthcare is often motivated by personal experience.
“I joined the Circle of Excellence because I have been fortunate enough to receive excellent medical care my entire life,” said Meggie Baker, Co-Chair of the Circle of Excellence Executive Committee. “I want others who face life-changing illness to have access to exceptional care and services. This group enables me to have a voice in giving.”
Circle of Excellence members gather regularly to socialize and learn more about healthcare at McLeod. Each year, the membership reviews a list of high priority needs from McLeod Health and votes on how to award the funds they contribute.
Last year, the members learned about various funding needs for many McLeod Health programs. The group decided to commit a portion of their funds to impact several areas of McLeod Children’s Hospital, which benefit children and their families.
For Meggie, supporting the redesign of the Child Life Activity Center was especially meaningful.
“The Child Life Activity Center is a play area that provides hospitalized children a safe space to be a child even as they face a difficult diagnosis,” Meggie explained. “By adding more space tailored to specific needs, the center will foster warmth and well-being as the children work through their recoveries.”
Meggie speaks for her fellow Circle of Excellence members when she encourages other young people to join. Not only for the philanthropic aims, but also to “meet and interact with others who share similar interests, passions, and goals.”Close
Two Credit Unions Prioritize Children’s Care
When donors like you give to ensure the best healthcare is available locally, it is often with children and grandchildren in mind. This is no different with local businesses.READ MORE
Giving and serving their community has been the backbone of both SPC Credit Union and Health Facilities Credit Union (now SC Federal Credit Union) since their inception. When each learned about the opportunity to support a regional Children’s Hospital expansion, they immediately felt it was a perfect fit.
Both are member-driven organizations. As such, supporting McLeod Health, the local medical center their members count on for care, is a focus of their giving.
“The driving force for this relationship is to keep money local,” explained Linda Weatherford, President of SPC. “When we give to the McLeod Health Foundation, 100 percent of our money stays here. McLeod Health is constantly serving our friends, family and colleagues every day through the services they provide. We are very blessed to have this facility and the level of care McLeod offers.”
Robert Harris, City Executive of SC Federal Credit Union, agreed.
“We have been involved with McLeod Health since 1977 when three local hospitals started Health Facilities Credit Union. Many McLeod employees were our members, so it has been a natural fit to give back to those we care for and serve every day. We are truly fortunate to have McLeod in a community of this size.”
When the McLeod Foundation launched its campaign to expand McLeod Children’s Hospital last year, these two credit unions wholeheartedly came on board. Many individuals and businesses throughout the region joined them, making commitments to support this most precious care.
Generous McLeod Foundation donors like you will join in celebrating the opening of the new, state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the Spring of 2021. This specialized care for the smallest and most vulnerable patients will be the latest achievement made possible through philanthropic efforts.
We are grateful for the support of SPC Credit Union, Health Facilities Credit Union and all who have made this loving care a priority.Close
Loyal Donor Remembers Why He Gives With Every Check He Writes
Twenty years ago, Stephen Love was driving home and listening to the radio. A voice came on asking listeners to donate during the annual Radiothon for McLeod Children’s Hospital.READ MORE
“They needed medical equipment, though I don’t recall now the specific item,” stated Stephen.
Regardless, he was inspired. The remainder of his drive home he thought about his diabetic grandson, who had been in and out of the McLeod Children’s Hospital for much of his childhood. He also thought about his father, a Shriner, and traveling with him in the days before McLeod had a Children’s Hospital to the Shriner’s Hospital in Greenville to visit sick children.
“I called as soon as I got home,” said Stephen.
After speaking with a Radiothon volunteer, he agreed to donate every month for one year. More than two decades later, he still makes a monthly gift supporting McLeod Children’s Hospital.
“At this point, it is natural to send my gift on the 20th of each month,” Stephen explained.
The McLeod Health Foundation offers donors the choice of mailing in a donation, making a gift online or setting up an auto-draft for recurring donations. Though there are many ways to give to the McLeod Foundation, Stephen prefers the old-fashioned method of writing a check each month.
“Every time I write that check, it makes me think about why I do it,” said Stephen. “If the cause is worth giving to, it is worth thinking about.”
When he picks up his pen each month on the 20th, in addition to his grandson — who is now in his late 20s and doing well — Stephen thinks about all the children who benefit from McLeod Children’s Hospital.
“I offer a prayer of thanks that these kids get the care they need and deserve,” said Stephen. “I hope whatever illness they had when they came to McLeod Children’s Hospital, they do not have it when they leave.”Close
Making Lives Brighter in Our Region
Bill and Mindy Taylor know firsthand the importance of having a local Children’s Hospital in the region.READ MORE
The couple recall the day they visited McLeod Children’s Hospital to meet their grandson, John Luke Iseman. John Luke was a healthy full-term baby, but several hours after his birth, his blood sugar dropped. He was rushed to the McLeod Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Bill and Mindy saw the fear their son and daughter-in-law experienced when staff took John Luke from their arms. It was the same anxiety Bill felt 39 years ago when his daughter, Olivia, had to be treated in the McLeod NICU.
“When Olivia was born, I was not prepared for the NICU,” Bill said. “I was unable to hold her for two weeks. But, I knew that my little girl was receiving the best care possible. The doctors and staff were just fantastic.”
Bill and Mindy encouraged their son and daughter-in-law, helping them understand that John Luke would receive excellent, state-of-the-art care.
And, they were right. Today, John Luke is an active two-year-old and the light of their lives. The Taylors know the value of McLeod Children’s Hospital more than most having had a daughter, and now a grandson, receive life-saving care from the McLeod NICU.
While the two have become generous supporters of McLeod Children’s Hospital — both personally and through Mindy’s employer, Duke Energy — they are quick to point out that they are not simply “donating” to a cause.
“I tell everyone that we are not just donating money; we are investing in the community,” Mindy explained. “But, when it becomes very personal, as it did for us, that is when you can really see the fruits of your investments.”
The Taylor family will always be grateful to McLeod Health Foundation donors who have also invested in excellent local care for children like Olivia and John Luke.
Mindy added, “We are so fortunate to have McLeod as a regional medical system. What would we do without them?”Close
You Provide Specialized Care for Frightened Children
Kristin Winfield and her family, especially her daughter, Lux, will be forever grateful for generous donors to the McLeod Children’s Hospital.READ MORE
May 8 started out like any normal workday. Kristin, a Certified Surgical Technologist, was in surgery with Neurosurgeon Dr. William B. Naso. Suddenly, she got a call that her daughter had been involved in an accident. Lux was being transported to McLeod Regional Medical Center.
Kristen frantically arrived at the Emergency Department where she learned that Lux had sustained a severe head injury. Lux was unconscious and bleeding from the ears.
McLeod staff comforted Kristin and kept her informed of what was going on. The COVID-19 crisis made visitation difficult, so she was also relieved to learn that Dr. Naso, having finished his case, was now checking on Lux. “I was thinking of the worst-case scenario,” recalls Kristin.
Lux was transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in McLeod Children’s Hospital with a fractured skull, concussion, and a ruptured mastoid. It was overwhelming for Kristin to learn all of this and see her baby girl in a neck brace not moving.
“I just broke down,” Kristin said. Fortunately, Lux had a team of Pediatric Intensivists, ENTs, Neurologist and support staff providing care.
This specialized pediatric care is available because of McLeod Foundation’s generous donors who continue to value the best care for our children.
Kristin said, “Lux was very brave, she never cried once.”
Thanks to donors like you, Lux was able to receive this critical care in the region’s only PICU, which was vital to her recovery. Your support helped make this possible.
Having returned home, Lux and Kristen will always remember your kind support that made her recovery possible.Close
View how your gifts to the McLeod Children’s Hospital are helping patients and their families.View Stories