WashU Nephrology News

Santa’s Got Competition! WashU Nephrology Spreads the Joy to Young Dialysis Patients with Adopt-a-Family Christmas Event

Staff and faculty of Division of Nephrology at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, gather around Christmas gifts to be given to families of three children on dialysis.ift

Christmas gifts are wrapped and ready to be delivered to families of three children on dialysis.  Pictured are some of our nephrology faculty and staff who participated in the Adopt-a-Family event.

Thanks to resident elves in the Division of Nephrology, the holiday season is made even more special for families of three local children on dialysis.  Coordinating with a team at the Children’s Hospital dialysis unit, our division “adopted” three families in need of a little help this Christmas.

Principal organizer, Julie McNamara, a medical secretary in our Renal Outpatient Office, came up with the idea of combining funds to help others instead of spending money on the usual gift exchange between co-workers.  “I did this in the past when I worked at Children’s and it just made everyone who participated feel so good,” says Julie.  “I thought it would be a much better way to spread the warmth and the reason for the season if we were to assist these dialysis families.”

Member of Division of Nephrology wraps Christmas present for Adopt-a-Family event.

Medical secretary Joni Menke is one of the “Rockstar Elves” who helped wrap the many Christmas gifts collected.

A list of needed items called for new, unopened, unwrapped gifts for the three young dialysis patients, their siblings, and parents.   Items donated ranged from underwear, toys and gift cards to bicycles!

Julie was very appreciative of all who helped in the Christmas project.  “I just wanted to send out a big, fat THANK YOU to all who participated in our Adopt-a-Family mission this holiday season.  All the families were very grateful for your hard work and generosity,” she says. “It was so wonderful to be able to help these families have a joyful Christmas.”

David, one of the young patients on dialysis, and his mother are presented with their gifts.

Alana Holland, a pediatric medical social worker at the Children’s dialysis unit, was at Children’s when the gifts were delivered.  “This is so awesome!” she says.  “You all have really blessed these families, they struggle with so much and their kids worry about so much.  This is something they will always remember and smile about”

Julie gives a special shout out to the social workers who helped initiate the process – Molly Bradford, Alana Holland and Missy Rocco – and gives a hearty thanks to all those who donated, wrapped presents and helped organize the event:  “You are Rockstars!”

Watch the Christmas Caravan as it makes its way from Wohl to Children’s Hospital to deliver presents to the families here.

See more pictures on the Division of Nephrology’s Facebook page  as well as watch the video from our 2019 Holiday party here.

Christmas gifts wrapped and ready to be delivered.

Part of the gifts wrapped and ready to be delivered.

Mother gives the "heart" sign in appreciation for the Christmas gifts.

The mother of one of the young dialysis patients who received Christmas gifts shows her appreciation.

From left: Cocoa Young, Teana Allen, Joni Menke