December 2019 STAY TUNED for a date!
Our impact award recipient for September is
Once Upon a Hero
About Our Organization
Once Upon a Hero became an official nonprofit organization in January of 2013. Our organization was inspired by the heroic and selfless acts of Don Spillane, who lost his life while trying to help another. We are based in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania and 501(c)(3) certified.
MISSION STATEMENT: Our organization holds local fundraising events for a good cause. With the commitment of volunteers and the support of donors/sponsors, we bring together the community and raise money to help a local family or individual in need.
The 2019 Once a Hero beneficiary is
The Jaworowski Family
Josh and Bethany Jaworowski are the parents of 16 month old twins, Jayden and Josiah. Jayden and Josiah have been diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disease called MECP2 Duplication Syndrome. MECP2 Duplication Syndrome is extremely rare (maybe 1,000 cases worldwide).
No two children experience MECP2 Duplication Syndrome the same way. Jayden and Josiah both have low muscle tone, significant developmental delays, difficulty swallowing, feeding difficulties and have g-tubes. Josiah also has breathing difficulties, seizures and possible immunosuppression. He has been hospitalized for going into respiratory distress from a common cold. They both have several specialists and receive multiple therapies each week.
Half of those affected by MECP2 Duplication Syndrome never walk or talk. Life expectancy is on average 26 years old. Recurrent infections can cause life-threatening complications and are a major contributing factor for reduced life-expectancy. The Jaworowski's are a single income family and Once Upon A Hero will be helping them with the medical and personal financial challenges they meet while fighting this disease affecting Jayden and Josiah.
Find out more details about this great organization at http://onceuponahero.org
Our September Nominees Included
Neighbors 4 Neighbors www.n4npgh.org
Neighbors for Neighbors is a local non-profit organization that is dedicated to making the holiday season brighter for local children by fulfilling their holiday Wish List. A Wish List consists of 5-6 items that a child requests for the holidays. The Wish Lists often contain basic items such as jackets, shoes, clothes, blankets and toiletries.
Neighbors for Neighbors works closely with contacts at local school districts to identify children that are in most need for the holidays. Most of the children we help participate in their schools free/reduced lunch program or have recently fallen on hard times. We believe that every child deserves to have a special holiday season no matter what their circumstances.
There are many ways to get involved. Help spread cheer this holiday season by making a donation, sponsoring a child's Wish List(s) or purchasing a Wish List item. A Wish List typically consists of 5-6 items a child wants for the holidays. The cost of sponsoring a Wish List is ~ $150.
Magee Womens Research Foundation - benefitting PARS for Postpartum Depression
Behavioral health services provided at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC have been developed to meet the unique needs of women in pregnancy, post partum, and mid- and late life. The multidisciplinary staff are experts at assessing and meeting the needs of women and their families and understanding how difficult it is to seek help for emotional and psychiatric problems. We treat women at all stages of life.
One in five women will experience an episode of clinical depression in her lifetime and more than half will never seek treatment. Depression affects women about twice as often as men. Other behavioral health disorders such as anxiety and bipolar disorders also affect women in profound ways throughout their life cycle.
Pregnancy and the postpartum period are frequently considered a time of great joy. When a woman experiences depression, anxiety, or symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, it can be a time of great confusion and uncertainty. Distinguishing whether this is a normal reaction or a problem that requires professional help can be difficult to determine. Finding someone who has the clinical skill, expertise, and understanding to help define the problem and develop a plan of treatment can be frustrating. The staff of the Behavioral Health Services at Magee are equipped to do just that. Working with ob/gyns, social workers, and family members, our staff provides education, support, and treatment for women of all ages.
Magee-Womens Behavioral Health Services
Pre-conception evaluation and counseling
Comprehensive psychiatric assessment
Psychiatric consultation regarding use of medication in pregnancy and post partum period
Pharmacologic management during pregnancy and the postpartum
Stress and coping classes
My family’s journey with Postpartum Depression was not that unusal- it started after the birth of our son Elliot. Like so often, I thought everything was normal and going according to plan, but I had no idea the amount of pain or anxiety that was consuming my wife. On the outside she looked happy and engaged but on the inside she was overwhelmed and terrified. It wasn’t until that afternoon, about 7-10 weeks after delivery, I realized something was very wrong. I woke up from a nap after getting called into work overnight to find my wife sitting in the corner of the room crying. In that moment, I knew we had to get her help. After securing childcare for Elliot from family and friends, we made our way to the hospital. Over the next few days, we learned that my wife was suffering with Postpartum Depression Anxiety. After she received inpatient therapy, my wife was discharged into the Intensive Outpatient Program.
We faced many challenges and hurdles during this process like timely access to care, lack of disease specific therapy, and available resources for the spouse.
Even though this has been one of the most challenging periods in my life, being married to my wife and the birth of my son have been, and continue to be, the best moments that I will cherish forever and I hope to ensure the same for others.
- William Vehovic