Our Top BestMEDICINE Stories of 2016: Part 2

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At BestMEDICINE, it’s been our pleasure to share stories with you throughout the year that highlight human triumph in the face of tribulation, strength and bravery through challenges, and the extreme compassion we witness in our community every day. In the second of a two-part series, we’re highlighting the stories that most touched our lives and yours, based on your responses. Thank you for sharing your year with us!

Victoria's Wish

Victoria, Your Wish Has Been Granted!

This one gets us every time. Victoria, a 16-year-old girl from Sparks diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, was granted her wish to visit the Royal College of Surgeons of England by Renown Children’s Hospital and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The teen has aspired to become a pediatric hematologist oncologist long before she was diagnosed herself. “I want to help kids, I want to make them feel better and heal,” Victoria says. Grab your tissues for this video, because dreams really do come true. 

high fivesHanding Out High Fives and Hope

Radical optimist. Dreamer. Doer. That’s how we would describe Roy Tuscany, an aspiring competitive freestyle skier whose dream was interrupted by a life-altering spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down. But rather than getting bitter, he got better — working hard during his treatment at Renown Rehabilitation Hospital and later co-forming a nonprofit to help injured athletes regain their strength and love of sport. The name of the nonprofit? The High Fives Foundation, named for the high fives he would deliver to everyone in the room before every rehab session.

nursing nurse kenyaNursing Beyond Borders

As a registered labor and delivery nurse at Renown Regional Medical Center, Krystie Macdonald witnesses life-changing moments every day. And after returning from a 12-day trip where she volunteered at a clinic in Kenya, she was on the receiving end of some pretty life-altering events herself. “I can’t tell you how it’s changed my life,” Macdonald says. “You go to a place where you see people that have nothing, and it’s interesting to see how much you can help with how little you have. The whole experience was very humbling — you see a different world.” To the many Renown nurses like Macdonald who contribute to the care of so many — at home and away — we salute and thank you.

DRIMaking History for Healthcare in Nevada

With Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval as the study’s very first participant, we announced a groundbreaking new collaboration with the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and personal genetics company 23andMe. As a result, 10,000 northern Nevada residents have the opportunity to take a free DNA test and the results will combine population data and personal history for something that could change the way healthcare is delivered in the state. On a personal note, participants have been excitedly sharing their results, finding far-flung cousins and even family members they’ve been searching for.

kidney-donor-zackSelfless Acts of Love and Survival

A mother’s love, a young boy’s fighting spirit and a community’s unwavering support. Together, they tell the amazing story of 8-year-old Zack Dado, who needed a kidney transplant to survive. Unable to find a match among family and friends, Zack’s mom, Jennifer Dado, RN and supervisor of clinical nursing at Renown, decided to donate her kidney as part of a “paired donation,” a transplant option for candidates who have a living donor who is medically able to donate but incompatible. Friends and family rallied to support for both her and Zack’s surgeries and recoveries. “From the day that Zack was born we have had overwhelming support,” Dado says. “Just to see the community come through for us is amazing.”

What were your favorite stories of 2016? Comment and share below and be sure to let us know what stories you would like to see in 2017!

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