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Community Hospital Health Foundation Assists Team Abby and Team Darin With Prizes for Pokes

November 05, 2014

Abby Sedlacek, five, and Darin Neben, eight, representing Team Abby and Team Darin, are busy collecting Prizes for Pokes from the community. The prizes are given to children who receive “a poke” for their medical treatment. Staff who help distribute the prizes to young patients at Community Hospital are (left to right) Jan Hoyt, Theresa Ruggles and Penny Hayward, nurses from the infusion department and Lindsey Dame, laboratory.

McCook, Nebraska—Community Hospital Health Foundation and Community Hospital join partners with Team Abby and Team Darin to help collect and distribute Prizes for Pokes. Working with the mothers of the two children, the foundation promoted and collected prizes to fill more than three-18 gallon tote from hospital employees. Those items are added to prizes collected from McCook Elementary, McCook National Bank, KRD Credit Union and friends and family.

With the children’s input, Abby Sedlacek, 5, McCook, and Darin Neben, 8, Culbertson, the prizes will be divided up to be distributed at locations at Community Hospital where children usually get “poked.” A supply will also be taken to the sixth floor hematology/oncology floor at Children’s Hospital in Omaha. That is where Abby and Darin’s journey began; Abby is fighting leukemia and Darin, neuroblastoma. Both receive a lot of pokes as they navigate through healthcare. They wanted to pay it forward for other children experiencing the same challenges.

“Having prizes helps us parents because it distracts our children and helps them cope with the current situation,” said Korey Sedlacek, Abby’s mom. “It also gives the kids control; they get to choose a gift,” she added. When asked, Abby said she likes bracelets and books. Darin says he prefers any kind of Legos. Abby said she sometimes chooses something for her brother, too.

The preferred prizes are new, unopened small items that appeal to children ages 0 to 18. The project is not just for pediatric cancer patients. The idea was to make prizes available in labs, emergency rooms and injection infusion centers; anywhere that kids get poked. The only restrictions are no stuffed animals, VHS tapes and anything made with latex.

The immediate drive has been very successful; however, Visa gift cards and cash donations will be accepted through Community Hospital Health Foundation to replenish the prizes in the future. To donate call Korey at 308 737-0677, Kristina Neben, Darin’s Mom at 308 636-8153 or Community Hospital Health Foundation 308 344-7222.

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