Summit Club member
In 2012, Jody Engle’s husband and best friend of more than 30 years, Michael, suffered his third heart attack.
He needed emergency open heart surgery and was immediately transported from his local hospital to our cardiac care unit. Jody will never forget the difference it made.
“It was night and day. Michael felt so comfortable at Swedish,” recalls Jody of the moment they first arrived. “We were both treated in such a compassionate and loving way from the start.”
She will also never forget how that same level of kindness extended to both of them in the last week of Michael’s life. “He was surrounded by medical professionals who cared for him better than any others ever had,” shares Jody.
Despite such a devastating loss, Jody was so inspired by our extraordinary caregivers that she decided to become one herself. Just months after accepting a position with our Environmental Services group, Jody was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, the third-leading cause of cancer death. But she found the most advanced care right where she worked.
“I feel like I won the lottery. I have a job at the greatest place with the greatest people and one of the best cancer institutes in the area,” says Jody. “My treatment has been top-notch and my co-workers are so compassionate.” They even donated a month of vacation time so she could focus on her treatment.
Today, Jody is cancer-free. But she continues to seek physical and emotional support through our innovative supportive care services covering everything from art therapy to specialized exercises for individuals with cancer to mindfulness and self-compassion instruction. “It’s amazing, and one of the only programs of its kind in our region,” shares Jody.
Largely funded by donors like you, these services are helping people like Jody develop their own long-term recovery plans to live a healthier life after cancer. They speak to our integrative approach to cancer therapy designed to give patients with cancer the best chance to fight their disease.
“Nobody comes out of cancer treatment unscathed from the psychological and physical battle. And yet here, it’s one stop shopping for innovations in cancer care,” Jody says.
“TO BEAT CANCER, IT TAKES LEADING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY, GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH AND MEDICAL EXPERTISE–AND IT TAKES PHILANTHROPIC SUPPORT.” [JODY]
All of this combined inspired Jody to give back to Swedish. She knows first-hand what it’s like to be a caregiver to a loved one, a patient and an employee. And she encourages others to get involved. “In order to stay on the leading edge to beat cancer, it takes the latest technology, groundbreaking research and medical expertise—and it takes philanthropic support.”
“I have nothing to complain about. I feel as though I’m the luckiest person in the world. I love my job and the people I see here every day. I want to be president of the Swedish fan club!” Jody says with a smile.
Thanks to supporters like Jody—and you—our patients have access to innovative health care and hope for a healthy tomorrow.
To learn more about how your gift makes a difference, contact Director of Annual Giving Lindsay Capello at 206-215-8138 or Lindsay.Capello@swedish.org.