Red Vest Review

Choosing Children’s: Kate Hanley

A tick bite — that’s what started Kate’s relationship with Children’s Minnesota.

In a time of uncertainly, Kate relied on the staff at Children’s to provide care for her son, and answers related to his illness. Her positive experience led her to later giving her time to our organization and those that matter most: the kids and families.

“I was 12-years old and still playing in little league softball when I coached my first team full of second-graders! Kids are very present; very in the moment. They’re rarely afraid to tell you what’s on their mind and they see things with an openness and honesty that people tend to lose with age. Anything is possible with children because they are full of magic and they keep us growing! Fast forward a couple decades and I am married with three school-aged kids of my own. I spend my time with my kids, volunteering, playing guitar, singing, dancing, reading, writing and being with my large family. Oh! And eating! I LOVE eating all the good food the Twin Cities has to offer!

The summer we moved to the Cities our son was bit by a tick and contracted Lyme’s Disease. When we took him to Children’s in Minneapolis we still didn’t know what was wrong, but the staff was very attentive and took good care of our boy. There was a Child Life Specialist who came to see us all before his surgery and she did a great job of preparing our son, and his siblings for what lay ahead. It was so unexpected and comforting to have someone there to focus purely on us in our time of uncertainty. A few years later I had some time to volunteer and thought first of Children’s Hospital. I love being able to help parents and their kids in times of distress because I believe they need extra care and attention.

One of my favorite memories while volunteering at Children’s was the night I visited with a teenager who had been sidelined from playing hockey. She couldn’t do any big physical activity and was very down-hearted. So I took her down to a family room to play some hockey of our own. We grabbed some 12-inch mini souvenir hockey sticks she had in her room, some Starburst candies and some styrofoam cups from the lounge and went head to head shooting it out. We had a blast with our make-shift game of “kneeling hockey”, and I even made her laugh with my terrible slap-shot. She was happy to be playing again and I was happy to be a part of her healing.”


Kate and family, enjoying an afternoon adventure