In the early part of 2017, one of our H1 nurses shared with us her mom's struggle with Sarcoidosis. This has been something she has been battling with for a long time. It had gotten worse, had spread to her brain and she was going to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota every 2 months for treatment. This brave lady continued to work her full-time job despite all of this. She also continued to do care for her grandchildren after school, continued to work full-time as a wife and mother. She had multiple trips to the ER for fainting, vision loss, and weakness. These did not deter her from going back to her normal life the next day after these happened. This lady would also contribute to our potlucks through her daughter. She had been a patient on our unit and had developed a rapport with members of our team.
In October, several team members from H1 elected to do something beautiful for her. We told our co-worker that we wanted to do something for her mom. She said that although her mom would be very appreciative of it, she would be very upset that do something for her because she will say that someone else would be more deserving than her. We were touched by her humility and goodness to others and we decided that this was going to be a secret mission. We wanted to do a fundraiser to help with the expenses for her and her husband's plane/hotel trips to the Mayo Clinic. We also wanted to raise enough funds to send our nurse with her mom to Minnesota on one of her check-ups so she can see and talk to the doctors herself.
Three people started the planning; we presented it to the group and by the third week of October, twelve of us got together and assembled jars of cookie mixes and sugar scrubs to sell. Other team members signed up to donate baked goods. On Oct. 31, we had our first bake sale at the MDH Cafeteria. We had 5 long tables of baked goods, apple/pumpkin butter, sugar scrubs, raffle tickets, scents/candles, etc. Team members from H1 took turns selling and greeting people. We did this for two days and it was truly successful. The next opportunity came with the MDH craft sale where we had another successful sale because of contributions from the whole H1 team. I believe only a couple of TMs were not able to participate because of scheduling issues but otherwise, this was a total TEAM effort. A patient and his wife liked what we were doing and decided to come two days in a row to help us with our project.
Our nurse knew we were doing the bake sale for her mom but did not know how much success we had received through every H1 team member's effort.
We asked our nurse to bring her family, including her mom, to our Christmas party. We planned the gift giving for that night. From the proceeds of our sales, we donated half of the money to the Sarcoidosis unit at the Mayo Clinic. We gave her a gift of cash, gift baskets, scarf/jacket/mittens as well as a painting that was painted by the daughter of one of our TMs and a sign that we used during our sales. We also arranged for her and her family to be driven from the party in a Christmas decorated van to see the Christmas lights that night. This was apparently something she does for her grandchildren every year. One of our nurses and her husband were the hostess and the driver that drove them around that night.
She was overwhelmed with all the generosity and love that was given to her and her family. She and her family were extremely appreciative of the work that the whole team had put into this gift.
To each person present, it was a memorable, love-filled experience that exemplified the true meaning of the holiday season.