PattyPacks 5K benefits families of pediatric heart patients
You can get a little exercise Saturday while helping the families of children with congenital heart disease.
The first Warm A Heart PattyPacks 5K is one of the signature events of the new Lexington Snowball Festival. All proceeds from the race will go to PattyPacks, a nonprofit created by a Lexington family after the death of their 11-month-old son.
Patterson Grey McKinley spent five of his 11 months in the Pediatric Cardiology Intensive Care Unit at MUSC in Charleston. After his death, his parents wanted to do something in his honor to help other parents spending time at the MUSC heart center with their children. They came up with PattyPacks, which provides the parents a tote bag with coffee mugs, a stress reliever, notepads, pens, game books, snacks and other small items.
The Warm A Heart PattyPacks 5K is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday. Online registration is available at www.pattypacks.org/#_race.
Survey sheds light on importance of family caregivers
The discussions about how to deal with health care problems seldom include one of the most important components — family caregivers.
A survey conducted by Care Improvement Plus and the National Family Caregivers Association in South Carolina and four other states indicates how important, and difficult, that role can be. The survey of caregivers who have helped family members on Medicare over a prolonged period found:
• 66 percent have been caring for their loved one for five years or more
• 57 percent provide financial support for their loved one, yet 75 percent have an annual income of less than $25,000
• 56 percent live with their loved one, and 94 percent live within 25 miles
• 40 percent are the sole caregiver for their loved one
• 70 percent care for Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes.
Not surprisingly, the affordability of health care services was the top health care issue among surveyed caregivers.
“As the chronically ill Medicare population continues to grow at a rapid pace, we need to identify ways to support the family caregivers that are critical to maintaining their loved ones’ health,” said John Schall, CEO of the National Family Caregivers Association. “This survey helps spotlight the issues caregivers are facing and the importance of considering the unique demands associated with higher-needs caregiving.”
Family Connection gets pregnancy project grant
Family Connection of South Carolina, a nonprofit organization that provides support to families with children with special health care needs, received a $25,100 grant from the March of Dimes Foundation in support of its Parents Helping Parents project.
The project will link parents with education for women who are pregnant or of childbearing age. The goal is to prevent future premature births and promote healthy pregnancies.
“Family Connection parents know what it’s like to have a baby born too soon,” said Jackie Richards, Family Connection of South Carolina’s executive director. “They are the best resources we have to communicate first-hand knowledge and experience to families in similar situations. Often, expectant mothers are not aware of the support available, and we can help close the gap.”
USC study seeking participants with lung cancer
The University of South Carolina is seeking African-Americans in the Midlands who recently have been diagnosed with lung cancer to participate in a new study designed to improve survival rates.
The study, which also includes the University of North Carolina and East Carolina, will run for several years and is funded with a $330,000 grant through the American Cancer Society. The goal of the grant is to identify strategies that encourage patients to follow through on health care instructions.
African-Americans are more likely to develop and die from lung cancer than any other racial or ethnic group.
Information: (803) 799-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Compiled by Joey Holleman