Inside Gillette Blog

A Weekend of Raising Awareness for Hydrocephalus

Posted On: 09/25/2011

Did you know that September is Hydrocephalus Awareness Month? With last weekend’s events a success – Gillette’s Childhood-Onset Hydrocephalus conference on Saturday, and the 2nd annual Minneapolis Hydrocephalus Walk on Sunday – we couldn’t think of a better time to share more about the condition, which occurs when too much fluid builds up on the brain. Click here to learn about causes and treatments for hydrocephalus.

Here at Gillette, more than 1,500 children come to us for help managing their hydrocephalus. Two of those kids are Jack Borchardt and Lana Sorenson. Jack’s mom, Tara, organized the first-ever Hydrocephalus Walk last year. Lana’s mom, Heather, headed up this year’s walk. We thought today would be a great time to check in to see how Jack and Lana are doing. And we’re happy to report the answer is: great!

Jack is thriving in second grade – he especially likes reading and math – and outside of school, loves practicing his counting skills by beating his dad at Monopoly. Although Jack still struggles with some effects of the condition, he hasn’t needed surgery for more than a year and a half. “At Gillette, we can get everything we need,” Tara says. “They help me be the best mom I can be.”

Lana is an energetic, imaginative 5-year-old — and proud big sister to a new baby brother. A summer surgery at Gillette has changed Lana’s life for the better, according to Heather. “Even though a hospital stay is not usually an enjoyable thing, Lana still talks very fondly of her nurses and her time at Gillette!” she says.

Are you a family member of a child with hydrocephalus? Join the Minneapolis Hydrocephalus Support Group on Facebook.

Gillette's Hydrocephalus Walk team included neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Partington and nurse practioners Terri Schultz and Amanda Seeley.

Lana proudly holds her team's sign at the Hydrocephalus Walk.

Another shot of the Gillette team.

Team spirit!

Before the start of second grade, Jack enjoyed a trip to Washington state - and the Seattle zoo.

A Send-Off Fit for a Champion

Posted On: 09/22/2011

Emily Davis is an energetic and bright 11-year-old with many talents, including knitting, karaoke, and writing poetry on her computer.  She’s also fiercely courageous, the result of tackling a lifetime of medical challenges caused by cerebral palsy. Since coming to Gillette, however, treatments and therapies have enabled Emily to thrive. Her biggest accomplishment?  Emily can walk independently, something other doctors once deemed impossible.

This fall, Emily will represent Gillette – and Minnesota – in the Children’s Miracle Network Champions program. The program raises awareness of Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, like Gillette, and recognizes children, like Emily, who’ve triumphed over medical struggles.  As Gillette’s Champion child, Emily and her family will travel to Washington, D.C. and Walt Disney World with families representing our other 49 states. Her trip is just weeks away!

Yesterday, we held the first of two send-off celebrations for Emily and her family at the ACE Hardware nearest to Emily’s home. Why celebrate at a hardware store, you ask? Because Children’s Miracle Network sponsor ACE is generously sponsoring the 2011 Champions program – including the fun-filled trip.  Our friends at ACE sent Emily off in style, complete with cupcakes and a bag of $1 bills to spend during her trip. But Emily was most excited about a gift card that she’ll use to purchase paint for her bedroom. Her color of choice: HOT PINK!

Emily and her family celebrate with the ACE Hardware team.

Emily and her sister, Megan, received cash to spend at Disney World!

A custom-made sign welcomed Emily to her send-off.

Click here to learn more about Emily.

Healing Garden Brings the Outdoors to Gillette Families

Posted On: 09/07/2011

Here at Gillette, outdoor space has long been a part of our history. In the early- to mid-1900s – when our hospital was located on the shores of Lake Phalen – children enjoyed everything from sandboxes and swing sets, to even a baseball diamond!

When Gillette moved to its current location in the 1970s, we gained much-needed space to grow to meet community needs. But we lost an area for children and families to enjoy the outdoors — until now.  Earlier this summer, we opened the Peggy King Healing Garden – a soothing, natural space located adjacent to our new patient-care building.

The beautiful space includes play equipment, outdoor musical instruments, a fountain, and areas to simply relax and enjoy nature. Patients also use the space for outdoor therapy sessions, which focus on practical skills and independence.

The garden is named in honor of Peggy King, a wife, mother and longtime Gillette board member. To honor her service to others, her family made a gift in support of a healing garden for Gillette. The garden was also partially funded by Gillette’s employees, who know the value of having an outdoor space for patients and families.

The garden features a walking path throughout and shaded pergola.

A view of the play equipment and small garden used for outdoor therapies.

A rock fountain provides soothing ambiance.

Children can enjoy using these musical pipes and, nearby, musical footpads.

Peggy King’s family toured the garden named in her honor. From left to right: Ginnie Weyerhaeuser, Dr. Larry Record, Steve Rasmussen, Kristin Rasmussen, Tom Rasmussen, Cathy Morley and CEO of Gillette, Margaret E. Perryman.