Miracle Monday: Support from the Children’s Miracle Network reaches far and wide

SPOKANE, Wash. — For most of us, the idea of fighting cancer, or worse yet, seeing your own child fight cancer is unimaginable.

Sacred Heart Hospital offers world-class health care and because of that, families come from all over Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana. A unique challenge on top of an already hard situation for these families is fighting a disease, so far from home — a reality that is sometimes surprising for those who live here.

Margret Jaurez and her two daughters were living in the Tri-Cities when Savannah was diagnosed with leukemia. Initially, the commute for her care was tough- but they’re coming out on top, thanks entirely to the support of the Children’s Miracle Network.

Savannah is a fighter and her Pediatric Oncology Social Worker, Janelle Green, appreciates that. “She’s very feisty and sassy, and we love our sassy patients because they’re the best fighters,” said Janelle. As a bystander, her spunk and energy would easily disguise the fact she’s working to kick cancer.

Months before the onset of COVID, Margret Juarez took her first trip to Spokane to get her daughter quality care. She didn’t know it at the time, but she was visiting her future home.

Janelle explains, “Nobody plans to be here this long. Most folks start out really hopeful… we’ll get treatment and we’ll get out of here… but that’s not the case. It takes years.” She works to connect families in this situation to the resources they need during treatment.

Janelle acknowledged the reality that not many families can make it through this type of situation, without some kind of support. As the biggest source of funding for these situations, the Children’s Miracle Network plays a massive role. The burden these families are forced to face is tremendous- financially, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

For Margret and Savannah, that support from the Children’s Miracle Network came in the form of car repairs, car payments, insurance, gas, rent, and most recently, a U-Haul. They traveled back-and-forth for the year of treatment (with the ability to stay at the Ronald McDonald house for days at a time), but eventually having her daughters split up across the state, during such a trying time, became too much. Margret decided to move her family to Cheney, and the Children’s Miracle Network stepped up here too. For Margret, she told us it felt good to see humanity, at its best.

Oftentimes, the hardest part of getting help (even when it’s needed the most), is asking for it. While the financial help here was crucial, the support Margret had went much deeper. She said, “It’s almost like a counselor without having to pay for it. They kind of empathize with you and they understand.” As a single mother, this is exactly what she needed.

There’s a common theme of compassion, understanding, and generosity among the families who come and go from Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. “They’re kind of at the point where they can start giving back to other families and offer support. It’s beautiful to watch.”

A cycle of giving through even the toughest times.

Margret illustrated, “On Christmas this past year, I and my girls went to the dollar store and bought presents for the kids that are in the hospital.”

At this point in their journey, there is a light at the end of the tunnel with a glimmer of hope that by this time next year, Savannah “will be out of the woods.”

If you want to help support programs like this one, right here in the Inland Northwest, you can donate to Children’s Miracle Network. 100% of donations stay right here in our own area. If you’d like to play a part and make a difference, click here.

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