Catalina’s Hope Guild was founded by a Children’s Hospital volunteer. In the orientation to Children’s, all volunteers are educated about the hospital policy that they should not get involved with the patients. Well, it must have fallen on deaf ears, because our founder was taken by her very first meeting with Catalina. She was eight years old at the time and Trish, the new volunteer, was assigned to her room up in the SCCA (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance). Catalina had been diagnosed with ALL leukemia.
Walking into Catalina’s room that day, Trish was greeted by a beautiful eight year-old with the most beautiful smile you have ever seen. She soon came to know Catalina as a child of grace. While Cat was going through treatment and battling the effects of her chemo, she never failed to greet each and every person around her, and to thank them for all they did for her.
Together they shared many wonderful times over the years. Catalina was such an inspiration to those around her. She showed us all how to be brave and courageous with grace. Catalina passed away in the summer of 2009 at the age of 17. Her battle with her disease lasted about 8 years and the hospital became like a second home to her. She will always live on through the remarkable memories she left us with.
Well, in all those years together throughout Cat’s many treatments, Trish and this courageous girl became very close. When Catalina was 14 Trish was inspired to start Catalina’s Hope Guild in her honor. She gathered a group of close friends who had heard so many precious stories about Catalina and together they decided they could make a difference in the lives of children like her.
The guild has grown since that first meeting of friends four years ago and our Catalina is no longer here with us. But we know her spirit lives on in the work of our guild and she will ever be an inspiration to our work. Through this guild, we hope to raise awareness and funds for families who could not otherwise afford the treatment and care they receive from Seattle Children’s. Our goal is that like Catalina did, all children in need will have the best medical care, whether they have the ability to pay or not. It is our hope that families can concentrate on the love and care of their child rather than the worry of how they are going to pay for Children’s world class care.