Ladybug House Newsletter

November 2016


Hello! We have been so busy raising awareness, building relationships, and working toward our fundraising goal that this is the first Ladybug House newsletter we are sending out since April.

Right now we are feeling thankful to every one of you who has donated, volunteered, or just spread the word about LBH and the need for palliative care, rest, and rejuvenation for families and an option for loving end-of-life support for children. 

Please read on to find out what's been happening and mark your calendars for exciting events that are coming up!


Ladybug House and Seattle University College of Nursing have teamed together to document the experiences of parents and caregivers of children and adolescents with life-limiting illnesses through a comprehensive survey.

Our goal for the survey is to capture as many different local voices and opinions as possible regarding what you, the caregivers, need when caring for very ill children. This data will be presented to state lawmakers and healthcare officials to demonstrate the real need for establishing a home-away-from-home for this chronically underserved population. We are making the official case for Ladybug House!

Who should take the survey? We are hoping that all caregiver(s) of a child, adolescent, or young adult age 29 and under with a life-limiting illness will take part. For this study, the term "life-limiting illness" is defined as any diagnosis or illness that has the potential to dramatically reduce years of life lived or dramatically impact quality of life.

Please help us by taking the survey and sharing the link with other parents and caregivers within Washington. If you still have questions, please reach out to: Thank you for helping us gather and document this important information!

Golden Truth Documentary
The Golden Truth is a documentary project that aim to change the way the world sees pediatric cancer, which has been portrayed in movies  and on TV through images of happy bald children frolicking in theme parks. We know the realities of childhood cancer are much more profound. 

Producer Nancy Pickett is an international award-winning film student who wants to make a difference in the lives of children who fight every day by exposing the truth of their struggles. Pickett, 17  years old, came to the LBH offices to meet six local families and spend the entire day filming their stories. Learn more about the film at

Filmmaker Nancy Pickett (far right) and LBH founder Suzanne Gwynn (second from right). 


As we work to raise funds and find land to build our home, we will continue to reach out and ask for your help in providing  families with moments of rest and rejuvenation right now  - something we call Ladybug Love.

Thank you to Daphne and her son Terrance for allowing us to support them as Terrance continues his battle. Terrance is 18 years old and was diagnosed with sarcoma when he was 16. They moved to Seattle, where Terrance has started treatment for the third time. 

Ladybug House founder Suzanne Gwynn reached out to supporters on Facebook, and within 24 hours the community pulled together to show Terrance and Daphne some serious Ladybug Love, including: Mariners tickets, a backpack, piles of school supplies, new clothing, a limo ride to and from the game, two pairs of brand-new Nike shoes, a Mariner's jersey, gift cards to the Mariner's team shop, numerous coupons to activities around Seattle including the Space Needle, and more. Huge thanks to all who responded and reached out to support Terrance and Daphne. Special thanks to the   Rachel Lynn Henley Foundation and the KidStarter Foundation for their ongoing support. On top of their continual gift of LBH office space, we also thank Hainline for kicking off our new Ladybug Love movement with the gift of four pairs of Mariner's tickets.

Providing Some Much-Needed Fun
In August, Nintendo generously gifted LBH 67 tickets to a Mariners game - which just happened to be on "Star Wars Day!"LBH distributed those tickets  to young patients and their families (plus a few well-deserving nurses and LBH volunteers) as a special treat. Great way to #celebrateeveryday!

Brianna Nettleton 

LBH supporter Brianna Nettleton donated three tickets to a Sounders game in September, and we were able to pass them on to Anna MacInnes and her family. Anna wrote, "My kids and I had a blast adventuring around and yelling as loud as possible! And bonus - when we finally did sit down it was next to a Children's Hospital nurse! Thank you again not only for the tickets, but for all you do for this community and for your heart and passion for the Ladybug House!"



LBH was one of 25 Seattle nonprofits chosen to be a part of
nerocity, an event put on by Seattle Met and presenting sponsor Vulcan on June 15. 7 5 0  g uests visited our exhibition booth to learn more about the LBH mission and goals, spreading the word  about the need for pediatric palliative care in the United States. Our team of volunteers engaged with visitors (aka dreamers) to our "home," creating memories with photo props and sharing their photos on social media, winning a gift of jcoco chocolate or wine courtesy of Lydig Construction, building a part of our home with Duplo's or Lincoln Logs, and drawing or coloring their vision of home. Visitors to our booth elected to donate money to Ladybug  House - we're very grateful for their  generosity! 

Nintendo Washington Charity Golf Tournament
Each year, Nintendo holds a golf tournament be nefiting a different worthy charity. Normally, they don't inform the beneficiary ahea d of time, but this year was different. LBH was not only chosen as the fundraising recipient, we were also encouraged to get our mes sage out! The month before the tournament, LBH was invited to the Nintendo campus at lunchtime to share information about our mission. At 6 am on the day of the tournament, Ashley Holte and Suzanne Gwynn were present at the event registration table welcoming and thanking people for their support. Ashley and Alice Stark attended the afternoon luncheon, as well. The final donations were tallied one week later and, with matching funds from Nintendo, the total gift to LBH came to $12,238!
Thank you, Nintendo!

Glassybaby Light the Bridge
When the s un ros e on September 22, Seattle's I-90 bridge held more than 1,000 more
pedestrians than norm
al at that time of day - including 47 people supporting LBH. They were there to celebrate the Seattle art glass company Glassybaby's charity milestone in the hopes of sharing in a new round of that company's charitable donations. Out of the hundreds of nonprofits represented on the bridge, and on short  notice (we had about one week to plan!), LBH came in ninth and received a generous donation of $1000 from  Glassybaby. "We are so grateful to our dedicated supporters for standing with us on the bridge, including more than 20 of my coworkers from the Seattle Cancer Care Clinic," said LBH founder Suzanne Gwynn, "and we are thankful to Glassybaby for the opportunity to build solidarity and momentum behind our cause of building Seattle's first palliative care home for children and their families."

Suzanne Gwynn (on left) and Glassybaby founder Lee Rhodes side by side on the I-90 bridge.

Microsoft Hackathon 
Microsoft's Azure team sought us out as part of the company's "Hackathon" event. Software engineers donated their time for a week, creating a timeline and resource page for the LBH website. They added some great new features that we can't wait to roll out soon! The pages are currently tucked away - we need additional help in getting them stitched into our site. If anyone reading this has the necessary IT skills and wants to help, please email Heather Brown (! 
At this time, LBH is 100% volunteer-driven. Our labor of love could not happen without you. Thanks to all of the LBH creators!
We are truly "for the community, by the community."  LBH community fundraising activities range from small and simple to big and exciting. We appreciate every effort and every dollar raised on behalf of LBH! These events moved us closer to our 500k goal for 2016 and made many more people aware of the need for pediatric palliative care support in Seattle. Thank you! Stay tuned to our website for tools to help you plan and hold your own fundraiser. 
Bob Fettig and the Wheels of Boom

A Seahawks fan was facing his 40th birthday, and he knew he couldn't do it alone! Bob Fettig gathered his Wheels of Boom fan club to celebrate along with him and requested donations to LBH in lieu of gifts. With jars he decorated, Bob and the WoB raised $1100! We are so grateful to Linda Boxwell to introducing LBH to Bob and his incredible group of friends.
Bob Fettig decorated jars to collect donations at his community fundraiser for LBH.

Kathye Handsaker

Through generous donations from her community in Belfair, Washington, Kathye Handsaker was able to raise more than $600 for LBH! Kathye also chose the "jar" approach and placed her simple donation stations at the Victor Improvement Club, Forza Coffee, and Costless Pharmacy. Kathye's granddaughter Georgia Handsaker is a leukemia survivor who received nursing care from Suzanne during her cancer treatment. We appreciate Kathy's love for Georgia and her dedication to LBH!
Steven Peterson

In late October, Steven Peterson and his amazing friends gathered in support of LBH. The Secret Halloween event was held at Cinque Terre Ristorante in Seattle (a beautiful space that was donated for free!) The event - more of a fancy dress costume party -- was free to attend and $6,085 in donations was accepted on behalf of LBH. Big thanks to Salvio and the incredible staff at Cinque Terre for planning and executing an incredible evening in support of LBH. Thanks to all who came out to #celebrateveryday! 

Steven Peterson and friends in costume to support LBH at Cinque Terre Ristorante.
Ryan Murphy

An incredible young man who attends the University of

Trish Murphy's memory is inspiring the next generation.
Florida, Ryan Murphy has a connection to LBH and has made it his special cause.  Ryan's aunt, Patricia Murphy, was a dear friend of LBH founder Suzanne Gwynn. The two women worked night shifts together for over a decade on the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance unit at Seattle Children's Hospital. Trish, as her friends and family knew her, loved her work as a physician's assistant on the bone marrow transplant unit at SCH.  
"Trish was one of my dearest friends and biggest supporters. From day one she believed in me and in Ladybug House," said Suzanne.
In her memory, Ryan has made it his mission to continue to care for the children and families that Trish loved by supporting LBH. "I began thinking and realized there would be no better way to honor her then to dedicate myself to something she loved so dearly," said Ryan. Five more chapters of LBH Clubs are in the works, with professors coming to his aid. Their goal is to raise funds and awareness and form additional chapters across the county. "It's incredible what can be done when a fire is lit," said Gwynn.
Ryan has also initiated an online fundraising campaign. "We are a 100% nonprofit organization in which all proceeds go towards the Ladybug House," said Ryan. "It all starts with us, we have the ability to make a change." Ryan's story made the local news; you can read the article that ran in the Independent Florida Alligator. To support Ryan's online fundraiser, visit

Ryan Murphy (second from left) and fellow students.
Interview with Mrs. Minnesota

Morgan Bredde, otherwise known as Mrs. Minnesota, is the first pageant winner to choose pediatric palliative care as her platform. "This is my encouragement to those reading this that have something to say but don't know what to say, how to say it, or even who to say it to. Just speak," Morgan wrote on her blog about the experience. "There are so many people who wish they had the voice, the opportunity or even the courage to do it. Take a chance and know your words could change the world."
We are sincerely grateful to Katie Lindenfelser, the founder of  Crescent Cove for introducing Morgan Bredde to LBH. It is an honor to have her use her voice to spread the need for pediatric palliative care and to champion LBH.

Add a new "Day" to the holidays! Following the wild spending of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there is now #GivingTuesday - a global day for charitable giving! LBH is participating in #GivingTuesday, taking place the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving (November 29). Started in 2012, the #GivingTuesday movement celebrates and supports charitable giving and philanthropy on a global scale. #GivingTuesday harnesses social media and human generosity to create real change in their communities. Through the collective power of nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals, we can encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.
Your #GivingTuesday gift to LBH will help build our first facility, a nurturing, much-needed space where we will add life to the days of families and children facing life-challenging illnesses. Please consider giving to LBH on this day of generosity! Visit our #GivingTuesday fundraising page:
Conversations That Matter Series

LBH is partnering with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Swedish Hospital to present a new series of free and important talks called "Conversations that Matter." The lectures are scheduled for December, March, June, and September, are open to the community, and may be of special interest to patients and caregivers along with nurses, doctors, therapists, and anyone else who provides care. 

The first talk will be presented at Swedish Hospital's Cherry Hill location on Monday, December 5 from 5:30 to 7 pm. Renowned Seattle grief educator and LBH advisory board member Geri Haynes, RN, will explore the topic of "Anticipatory Grief During the Holidays." This conversation will be of benefit to anyone experiencing bereavement or who are soon to be bereaved, those with past trauma around this time of year, those remembering a loved one who cannot be present for the holidays, and anyone experiencing loss, which comes in so many forms.

Pre-registration for this free program is requested. For more information or to register, please contact Christine Means-Wallace at 206-957-4585 or
The next talk will take place in March, and Dr. Erin Harper will discuss adolescent and young adult palliative care needs and why they are different. Please check the LBH website and your email inbox for the specific location, date, and time of this meaningful lecture.

Anna Jones, RN
LBH was honored to receive an incredible legacy gift of more than $18,000 from Anna Jones, who had worked as a nurse at Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Washington. On Facebook, LBH founder Suzanne Gwynn wrote, "There are some posts that are very difficult to write. This one should be filled with celebration and joy and although I am so very, very grateful, I am also incredibly sad. This evening Ladybug House received our largest personal donation to date. It comes to us in memory of Anna Jones, a nurse I've never met. Today, her dear friend came to LBH to bring us a donation in the amount $18,332.52. It is with sincere gratitude that we accept this incredible gift in memory of Anna Jones, RN. We will keep her memory strong, and we are so honored to have been chosen."
Thank You Ma'am! 
A Seattle philanthropic group of 100 women, Thank You Ma'am! is dedicated to providing amplified contributions to four selected non-profits each year. Their model is 100 women providing $100 each, ultimately donating $10,000 to a chosen charity, four times each year. LBH was selected as the recipient for the third quarter of 2016. What a fantastic way to #giveback!
With very little planning and a lot of good luck, LBH was encouraged to apply for a grant from Target and was awarded $1,000! Thanks, Target!
One week after the Light the Bridge event resulted in a gift of $1,000 to LBH, Glassybaby's White Light Fund chose to grant us an additional $10,000! The White Light Fund's mission is to "give financial and emotional assistance to those in need, in order to promote hope and healing," and we are feeling beyond thankful to have received this help. 

Help families and children celebrate every day by supporting Ladybug House. To learn how you can contribute to the mission, email .
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