More than Medicine: Medline Supports Wishes
By Karen Frey | April 28, 2017
In healthcare, there are definitely trying times, but the beauty of this industry is the power of hope and healing. Make-A-Wish® is one of those organizations that offer some light in a time of darkness for some families. The impact is huge. Every year, nearly 1,200 children in Illinois learn they have a life-threatening medical condition. Through Make-A-Wish® Illinois, many of these children get the opportunity for a life-changing experience and an edge in conquering their illness.
Since 2011, Medline has been helping to make some of those wishes come true. In that time, the Medline Foundation has donated $36,730.
Lauren’s story is an example of how Medline is partnering with Make-A-Wish to impact the journey of seriously ill children. In 2015, the quiet eight-year-old was diagnosed with cancer and was referred to Make-A-Wish by her child life specialist. Lauren needed a break from the many doctor’s appointments and hospital visits. She met with her volunteer wish granters and wasted no time in sharing her wish: a holiday cruise in the Bahamas, with her favorite characters along for the ride.
Lauren’s wish allowed her and her family time to relax on the beach, explore scenic views on tropical islands and play with new character friends. The smiles didn’t end there. When Lauren returned home to Illinois, she had renewed hope, strength and joy as she continues to fight cancer.
Lauren recently visited Medline’s new corporate headquarters. Karen Ferraro, chief human resources officer, Medline, was among the group that met this little girl with a big heart.
“A wish can make a huge difference for a child and their family,” said Ferraro. “Since we met with Lauren we have had employees ask us how they can get involved in the work that Make-A-Wish does. We were all inspired by Lauren to continue to help grant wishes of children who face these kinds of challenges.”
Some employees already have a history with the program. Don Malin, senior vice president of retail sales, has been involved with the organization for more than 15 years because his young cousin had cystic fibrosis and was granted a wish.
“My cousin was a high school student and an aspiring graphic artist. He wished for a new computer with the graphic capabilities that would enable him to explore his artistic goals,” Malin explained. “When he received that computer, I saw what a difference it made in his life, and I wanted to find out more about the organization that made it possible.”
Last year, Make-A-Wish Illinois granted 706 wishes. Around the world, there are hundreds of thousands of stories of young lives touched. The organization grants a wish somewhere in the world every 21 minutes. Every 21 one minutes a family gets to experience hope and rediscover joy, something medicine can’t always provide.
Karen Frey is the philanthropy manager at Medline, a core strategy of the corporate social responsibility platform. She develops and executes the Medline breast cancer awareness (BCA) campaign, the largest philanthropic initiative at Medline. Frey also planned and implemented strategy for annual BCA events, including the Medline Pink Glove Dance video competition and BCA month activities for Medline employees. In addition, Frey leads the Medline relationship with American Heart Association and other community relations programs.