Kevin and Megan Sechowski are passionate about supporting Lurie Children's. They are reminded about the hospital's power to heal every time they look at 9-year-old Bailey, the eldest of their three daughters.
"Lurie Children's saved Bailey's life," says Kevin.
Bailey was diagnosed before birth with complete fetal heart block, a condition that results in a dangerously slow heart rate. Within minutes of birth she was rushed to Lurie Children's previous facility, Children's Memorial Hospital, where Bailey underwent surgery to have a pacemaker implanted to regulate her heart rhythm.
She then spent three months in the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where she was also treated for a lung disorder, and returned to the hospital when she was six months old to have a hole in her heart repaired. As she's grown, Bailey has needed her pacemaker replaced twice and, barring any unforeseen circumstances, won't need another replacement until she's her mid-teens.
Despite the bumpy start in life, Bailey is an active fourth-grader, who loves swimming, tennis, soccer and gymnastics. She has checkups once or twice a year with her cardiologist, and once a year with her endocrinologist, both at Lurie Children's.
As a way to give back, Kevin and Megan have included the hospital as a beneficiary of their estate plan. When Bailey was still a baby, Kevin met with a financial advisor and an attorney to discuss taking out a life insurance policy and drafting a will to ensure that their children would be taken care of if anything happened him and Megan. During the conversation, the attorney brought up the subject of estate plans, and asked Kevin if there were any institutions he might want include in a bequest.
"A light bulb went off in my head," says Kevin. "We contacted Lurie Children's Foundation's Planned Giving team to find out how to go about the process of including the hospital. They walked us through it, and it was surprisingly easy. For anyone who has been touched by the hospital, an estate plan gift is a great way to keep supporting Lurie Children's beyond your lifetime."
As another way of giving back, the Sechowskis have fundraised for the hospital as participants in athletic events benefiting the hospital. Kevin has been a member of the Lurie Children's Marathon Team for the last 10 years, and Megan is a five-year team veteran. They've also participated in the AON Step Up for Kids stair climb to the top of the 80-floor Aon Center. The last two years Bailey and Riley, 7, climbed with them to the top, while Kevin and Megan took turns carrying their youngest daughter, 4-year-old Allegra.
"In addition to including Lurie Children's in our estate plan, participating in events like these reminds us that we're not only raising money in gratitude for the care Bailey received, but also to help other families," says Kevin.